• Want to support a good cause? Visit https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ to see how you can help the Black Lives Matter movement, even without donating.
  • Have YOU been itching for a zine? Look no further! Arowana is hosting sign-ups for their Nuzlocke Zine until July 24th... or when slots fill up!
  • New here and still figuring out the site? Check out the New User Guide and FAQ for some help!
  • Trying to figure out how the different forums have changed? This thread is the place for you.
  • One of our new features includes receiving a message on Discord when you have alerts. Find out how, here!
  • Have you seen our Stream tab? It let's you peek in and chat with our forum streamers on-site, from both Twitch AND Picarto! You can even view multiple streams at once. You can submit your own channel via Streams > Submit Channel.
  • If you're a fan of giving and recieving constructive criticism check out this resource about Critique Level Tags!
Extravanganza Accordian Demo
Thread Description
A Nuzlocke about a tired college graduate and an annoying demon. (Update 7-2 - Boiling)
OP
Obelisk

Obelisk

no sleep only bnuuy
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
155
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
366
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
Pokédex Entry
Eccentric 'locker obsessed with Magikarp.
Another brief hiatus, another dramatic return.

I should be back to a more "r e g u l a r" update/writing schedule at this point, so next update shouldn't take more than a month to come out after this.

I remember the video clip you linked to! The link is unfortunately broken so here -- A working link for that!

First of all, you did not exaggerate that Celeste is crazy and feral, and I'm very intrigued as to why she cant talk and what her real purpose is. The sentient pineapple line? Murdered me. Throwing caterpie? Effective. Dont knock it til you've tried it.

Trey is a bumbling protag that tries very hard and his entire existence consists of sighs, bigger sighs, and biggest sighs. He needs a nice nap. Gray, (who I keep misreading as Gary) is a wonderful over the top dickish rival who needs a fitting kick in the teeth. Also suspicious AF.

Speaking of suspicious AF - COLRESS?? *insert surprised pikachu face*

And, and most importantly, you must remember this, I would die for Lilac. You hear me? I know she's set up as a fav because early game catches usually die and mankey are notorious for not making it, but goddamn son, leave Lilac alone.
Celeste is...Celeste. Trying to figure her out right now is only going to cause one of two things: 1) a descent into madness, or 2) being introduced to a wepear through anomalous means. Just kidding -- things will make sense down the line!

Trey needing a nap sounds about right, and it's a total mood.

I ain't leavin' Lilac alone. She's too much of a good bean.

Remember reading some of this before, so time to look at it in full glory
So we seem to be in a parallel/dream world
And one that Trey has seen before
Fun fun speculation
And now we have a significantly more lucid Celeste with a rather interesting line
'Thank you for protecting my body'
Lots of things to look at here. Seems the Celeste we know isn't the true Celeste, her mind being in another place.
Can't wait to learn more as things go on
1itoun.jpg


> Significantly more lucid Celeste
...Y'mean the demon isn't lucid? :P

Well...it took me a while because I had to figure out a continuity snarl. And well, the world has been weighing down on me, making the snarl a lot harder to resolve. But we're finally here!

In which Trey takes on a Gym!

I practically jump out of my sleeping bag as something shrieks in my ear, throw my hands over my ears to shield them and...huh? Either I've gone completely deaf, or… I don’t know, honestly.

Celeste is sitting perfectly still and staring off into the distance. And by "staring off into the distance" I mean "looking at the canopy of the tent five inches in front of her". ...I don't know. I'm too tired to tell. I get up and look at her, catching her attention in the process. She turns to me, sporting a blank stare as usual. She’s absolutely nothing like the other one. Wait, that was a dream. What am I even thinking? The dream Celeste also looked a lot more human than this one… At this point, I’m not sure what’s going on. If that dream Celeste could talk, maybe the real one can.

“Hey, Celeste. What’s going on?”

A blank look.

“You see any, uh...Any Muk around-”

Next thing I know, I’m staring at the ceiling of the tent and my jaw feels like it got knocked into the next century. I can taste the distinct sour-bitter taste of a Wepear Berry, and I’m pretty sure that’s a chunk of the berry on my cheek.

A couple of minutes pass before the pain subsides enough for me to focus on other things - like getting ready for the day. I’m a few hours out from Pewter City, where the first Gym stands.

At least, I hope it’s still standing. Pewter got hit pretty hard during the war. I’m gonna have to keep my eyes down…I get dressed and do a quick inventory of my Pokemon and items to make sure everyone looks good - all team members are healthy and in great shape. I glance over at Celeste, who has gone back to staring at the canopy, then get up properly and stretch.

“Hey, Celeste. We gotta pack up and go to the Gym. I want to get there by dinnertime."

Celeste groans in protest and lazily crawls over to me as I’m getting my backpack slung over my back. It’s gonna be a long trek.


==

Holy crap. Pewter City is in horrible shape.

...Actually, no. Pewter hasn't changed one bit. It’s the same old bums on the streets begging for money, the same random stray Pokemon rifling through the trash, the same street vendors pawning off pretty-looking stones that are likely rubbish. I mean, I get the souvenir appeal here, since Pewter is the city of stones and there’re a lot of gems in the museum at the north end, but…

It’s all garbage. I need to get to the Center, get some information about the Gym and maybe some strategies I could use.

Celeste groans quietly. She decided to climb on my back again earlier, so I've been walking in the absolute center of the streets to keep her from grabbing at anything. She hates that, obviously. I just ignore her groaning and the calls of the street-side vendors with their rubbish stones as I take a left onto the main street. I can see the Center up the street, so hopefully I can catch another breather.

It takes me a few minutes to get checked in - this nurse seems completely unfazed by Celeste getting hissy again - but I'm able to get into a room. Now that I'm here, I can take proper inventory of what I need without the idiot clinging to me.

I have...about a dozen Potions and just as many Pokeballs. And I've caught all the Pokemon I've been allowed to catch on the way to Pewter, so I'm all set with that. I pull out my PokeDex and connect to the network. It's running a little slow...ugh.

It takes me a while but I'm able to find what I'm looking for - the page for the Pewter Gym that has the level recommendations for trainers based on badge count. It's interesting to see how they handle the different skill levels - higher badge counts get disproportionately harder teams to battle against, from what the website is saying. Thankfully for me, I only need Bud and Lilac-

"Trrrrrrrrr."

Huh? I look over at Celeste. She's tucked herself into the dimmest corner of the room and is staring at something.

"Trrrrrrrrrrrrrey." she utters. She stares at me blankly and remains still.

"...Yes, Celeste?" I say, staring back at her.

We end up staring at each other for a solid minute, for...no real reason, apparently. She snorts and then pulls a Wepear out of nowhere and eats it. So much for anything meaningful happening.

Anyways, gym battle. My opponent has-

"Trrrrrrrrreyyyyyyy."

"What is it, Celeste?" I say, a little annoyed as I turn to her again.

She slowly raises her arm and points at something behind me.

I look, and I see a painting. Huh. It's a reproduction of a painting from 20...25, I think? It looks like the portraits they painted of the Champions back then. The subject's a younger-looking guy, maybe high school age? He has black hair and a black and yellow hat worn backwards. It's honestly a really well done painting, and whoever made the repro put a lot of care and effort into it. Ok, so I probably wasn't paying attention to the room's decor when I came in here. ...Still a little weird that Celeste would speak solely to point out the painting. I look back at her, and she has that odd look of recognition on her face.

"Do you know this painting?" I ask, watching her face.

No response. So- right. I turn back around and get on the bed so I can reach the painting. On the bottom of the painting, in very miniscule writing, is the text "Champion Michael, Kanto-Johto Indigo Plateau, 2020".

Huh. Wonder if she knows this guy somehow? …I'm not gonna worry about it. I look back at her. Maybe I can actually ask her a question now?

"Hey. I-I dunno. I'm not sure what you're trying to tell me...Do you think you can try explaining this painting to me later?"

She tilts her head like a curious Growlithe, then opens her mouth.

"Yyyyyyyeeeessssssss."

"What the f-"


==

The doors of the gym creak and rattle as they slowly open. These things look like they haven’t seen any kind of maintenance in a decade. How are they still working?

Someone inside the gym motions me over to him, and the formal attire he has on tells me he’s the security guard for the gym, so I walk over. I hear a faint huff from Celeste, and turn to see that she is sitting outside. Despite the doors being wide open, she’s refusing to enter.

“Celeste, come on.”

Celeste snorts and stares at me as she inches away from the door.

“Celeste, come on.

...Nothing. Wonder why she isn’t listening?

“Last chance, Celeste. You coming or no?”

She twitches like she’s going to move, then turns her head the other way. As in 180 degrees, complete with crunching bone. Why am I not surprised?

“Uh...sir?” the guard mumbles, clearly freaked out and trying to maintain professionalism.

“Oh, right, sorry.”

I turn back to him and straighten up.

“I, Trey Himura, Pallet University of Training alumni-”

“Cut the formalities. Badge count?”

“Oh, uh...Zero badges, sir.”

The guard glances at a clipboard and looks back at me. He smiles and relaxes his stance.

“First gym battle, huh? Welcome to the gym circuit, Trey.”

“Thank you. Looking forward to this.”

The guard nods and raises his arm to gesture at a door to my right.

“Reception is through there. Talk to the receptionist to receive your complimentary Fresh Water and to store your team members. You cannot enter the Gym grounds if you have more than two Pokemon in your party, and you cannot enter any Pokemon that is higher than level 14.”

"Thank you, sir."

The guard says nothing further and returns to his post. Oh well. I head into Reception and am met by...nothing. There's not a single soul in here aside from the very-distracted receptionist playing with his phone. I stay near the door and stare at the receptionist to see if he notices me.

He doesn’t, so I let go of the door and it slams itself shut, startling him enough to launch the phone a foot in the air.

“Hey.”

He stares at me, a look of surprise plastered on his face.

“Didn’t mean to spook you, but you kinda didn’t see me come in here. I’m here to challenge the Gym.”

“Wh- oh! Sorry, sorry. Just a second.”

He scrambles a bit, going through his drawers to track down what he needs to register my team and me for the upcoming gym fight.

“Badge count and name, sir?” he says, as he’s pulling out a PokeBall rack and a small document.

“Trey Himura, zero badges.”

He pauses and looks at me.

“Himura, huh?”

“Yeah. What about it?”

“...Nothing. That surname just sounds familiar to me.”

I sigh and walk over to the desk to look at the document he pulled out.

“By the way, the guard already filled me in on the rules here.”

“Oh, good. All I need you to do, then, is sign the document here and surrender the Pokemon you aren’t bringing to the battle.”

“Sure.”

I take a second to scan the document. It’s a generic liability waiver that clears the Gym in the event that an injury or death occurs. Doesn't surprise me, honestly. They've made the gyms tougher to make sure that the people who go through 'em can survive on their own should something happen to the region as a whole.

Well, the team decision here is easy. I'm taking Lilac and Bud in and leaving the rest behind. This gym is Rock type, and Lilac and Bud are safe picks that can get past the Rock Pokemon’s defensive properties. I think I’m going to lead with Lilac, since Rock types are heavy and especially vulnerable to Low Kick. The receptionist looks at me as I put the PokeBalls for my team on the tray, then turns to the doorway.

“Your battle will be in Arena 1 - that’s the fourth door on the left from here. You will face one of the Pewter Gym’s Trainers. Should you win, you will have a 10 minute break to prepare for Gym Leader Slate. Use that time wisely.”

“Understood.”

“Your first battle is in five minutes from now. I’d get in there and figure out a battle plan if I were you.”

“Sure. Thank you.”

The receptionist opens the door, then turns back to his phone. I ignore the phone and walk through the door, into a hallway with eight doors. There are four doors on each side, their metallic tone breaking up the solid white walls of marble. Fourth on the left….All the way down there, then? I make my way down the hallway, and I’m noticing how rusty some of these doors are. This whole place seems to be in a state of neglect and wear, which isn’t all that surprising. The door to the arena I’m supposed to be in opens as soon as I get close. That’s a nice change of pace from the broken doors out front…

I grab the first PokeBall, which I know has Lilac inside, and enter the arena. It’s essentially a basketball court with a floor made from a mix of different stones. I recognize the granite and limestone, but not the rest. I think that’s a patch of obsidian on the far end…? The battle spaces for both trainers are marked on the ground with half-circles of emerald, one on each side of the field. The boundary line in the center is made of a ruby of some kind.

All in, it’s actually a really nice looking Gym arena. No wonder the rest of the town’s poor.

A hidden door on the far end opens, and a teen walks in clutching a PokeBall. Looks like I’m up for battle.

“Trey Himura?”

“That’s me.”

“Nice to meet you. C’mon, let’s not waste any time.”

He throws his PokeBall and his Geodude is sent out, slamming into the ground. It gets up, using its fists to support itself as it readies for battle.

I toss my ball in the air, and out comes Lilac. She huffs and looks around, then kneels down to study the ruby boundary line. A woman’s voice comes out of an overhead speaker as it crackles to life.

“Gym Trainer, are you ready?”

“Yup!” the teen calls out.

“Challenger, are you ready?”

“Let’s do it.” I say. I snap my fingers to alert Lilac. She perks up and backs away from the boundary line.

“Start the battle!” the woman calls out. The teen calls something to his Geodude that I can’t hear over the PA.

“Lilac, get in there and use Low Kick when you can!” I call, watching Lilac take off on command to one side of the arena...wait, what is she doing? She’s stopped at the boundary line and is doing some kind of kick dance that I don’t recognize.

“Hey, that’s not what I meant by Low Kick!” I yell at her. She huffs and ignores me as the Geodude starts hobbling at her, its rocky fists shattering the top layer of the arena as it closes in on her.

She jumps right as the Geodude gets into her personal space, dodging the Tackle the Geodude was trying to connect, then brings her foot down on the top of its head and slams it into the ground. She jumps on top of it and starts up with the crazy kick dancing again while giggling to herself like some kinda child - and it looks like she’s actually kicking the poor Geodude with every step?

And here I thought Celeste was the only lunatic I had to deal with…

“Lilac, that’s enough!” I call to her again, clapping my hands to catch her attention. “I think you’ve already knocked that Geodude out.”

She stops, stands up and pouts at me as she walks back to my side.

“Look, you can do that dance thing later when we get out of the gym. OK?”

Lilac snorts at me. The teen calls his Geodude back and retreats through the hidden door on his side of the field, and a tone plays over the speaker. I’m assuming that’s the start of my break between battles.

Thankfully, Lilac didn’t take any damage. We should be fine for the next battle. I take a moment to take my bag off and sit down so I can see Lilac better. I’m honestly curious about something.

“Hey, Lilac.”

She looks at me and walks a bit closer.

“Can you show me how you did that dance?”

She stares at me for a second, then chitters and walks over to the bag. Doesn’t take her long to get her boombox out, but it takes her a minute or two to find the cassette she’s looking for - something marked
“Soldier of Dance”.

Lilac shows me how she pulls off the dance. It
looks simple, but I know for a fact that even simple dances can be really annoying to master. Once she finishes her tutorial, she turns on her boombox and starts up on her kick dance at full speed. It’s an energetic song she’s listening to!

The secret door slides open again, and the mood of the room drops like a stone when she steps in. Gym Leader Slate, in the flesh. She's draped herself in a long, loose dress that conceals pretty much everything except her arms, and she's wearing a mask made of stone. I can't even see her face. Looking at her arms, I can tell that this woman is in incredible physical shape and could probably kill me if she wanted to. Lilac has noticed, too, and has returned to my side and is quickly packing her boombox back up.

"Challenger Trey Himura. Nicely done on your first battle, but…"

She brings a hand up to her face, putting her finger tip on her cheek ever so lightly.

"There is no place for tomfoolery on the battlefield. Your Mankey would do well to learn that lesson now."

Lilac grumbles as I stand back up.

"Are you prepared to battle, Challenger?"

"Yes, I am. Lilac, you're in."

She groans in protest and walks back up to the arena as Slate runs her thumb on the button of her Pokeball. Here we go. I feel my heart in my throat and my body starts to shake a little. Why did it get so oppressive so quickly?

“Geodude, you’re up. Use Rock Tomb, try to contain that Mankey.” Slate commands, crossing her arms with an air of experience.

“Lilac, close the gap! Try to get within kicking range!” I call out, hoping that she understands.

It seems like she does - she takes off in a full sprint, taking the direct path to the Geodude. The Geodude winds up and slams its hands into the ground, shattering the fragile gemstones under it and kicking up at least a dozen boulder-shaped chunks. Without hesitation, it grabs them and throws them as Lilac draws closer. The chunks land in random places - is this thing intentionally missing, or...Wait.

It’s trying to block her in!

“Lilac, it’s trying to box you in! Get out of there!”

Lilac quickly shoots off to the side, the change in direction proving fast enough to throw off the Geodude and forcing it to back up as Lilac closes the gap and winds up.

Slate audibly cringes and shouts, “Geodude, block the attack!”

Geodude pushes itself into the air and throws its arms out, forming a low X block - how does it know Tang Soo Do? - to catch Lilac’s kick.

Lilac changes her kick as she throws it, tracing a nice arc with her foot over the Geodude’s head and driving it into the ground. The force of the impact sends the Geodude skidding backwards, away from Lilac and the arena.

Slate doesn’t react to this in the slightest and throws a second Pokeball, summoning her Onix from it. Oh...I knew they were big, but. Wow.

Lilac backs off as the Onix affixes its eyes on her and lets out a deep, rumbling snort.

"Onix," Slate says, switching her PokeBalls around to recall her Geodude, "You know what to do."

Onix utters a growl that rattles my bones, and I hear Lilac let out a soft whine of fear.

“Lilac, you’ve got this,” I say to her. Crap. What do I even tell her? “You're still faster, get that Low Kick off!”

“I would not be so confident, Challenger!” Slade says, stifling my next thought. “Onix, Rock Tomb!”


Oh, crap- Lilac barely gets out of the way of a boulder crashing into the ground next to her and makes a mad dash for the other side of the arena. The Onix tracks her and throws boulders ahead of her to try and catch her out.

I don’t like this feeling in my chest right now.

Lilac, c’mon. You got this.

She spins around one of the boulders, barely dodging it, and closes the gap on the Onix. Oh crap. Her, Onix and I are all lined up perfectly. I gotta move- The Onix panics and throws a boulder at Lilac, missing her and throwing it right at me- OH SHIT!

I turn to runohfuckI’mtooslow

There’s a blur of white and a sickening crunch, then a rumbling sound like rock getting torn up- I’m on my butt all of a sudden with something white over me.

Celeste?

She’s standing above me, leaning over backwards and using her arms to hold the boulder in place- holy crap!

“Trey, are you OK?!” Slate yells, panicking. I hear her running across the arena as Celeste chitters and drops the boulder at her feet, then sits down.

“I...I’m fine. I think?” I call out as I check myself over for any injuries. Aside from a lot of rock dust, I...think I’m OK? Oh Arceus, I think I’m gonna faint. Control your breathing, Trey…

Slate gets to my side and kneels down to inspect me for any injuries I can’t see, and Lilac comes over a second later.

“You look fine.” Slate says, her head turning towards the boulder. “I have no clue how…” she trails off as she sees Celeste sitting there, coated in rock dust and debris. Celeste utters a soft groan and stares blankly at me.

“...I feel it may be wiser not to ask.” Slate finishes, helping me to my feet.

“Trey, aside from that...rather close call, you did rather impressively. Lilac knocked out my Onix in a single shot. You’ve cleared the Pewter Gym and earned the Earth Badge. Congrats. Now go clean up and check in with our on-site nurse before doing anything else. I’m not going to give you the badge until you have the all-clear from the nurse, OK?”

“...Okay” I respond flatly. I think I’m going into shock, it kinda feels like I’m looking at everything through a glass right now.

I should probably go see that nurse, huh?

End

I don't have much to say about this one except that I struggled quite badly at getting through writing the Gym battle.

Some addenda I wanna announce too: I'm working with an artist on the Forums on getting Celeste's reference sheet done. I think you guys will like it - We're working on making sure the presentation for it allows it to be integrated directly into the story when it's completed! Also may be pending a similar design sheet for Slate.
Edit: Thank you to my friend Terrordog1490 for helping me with the Slate fight sequence - he's the one that suggested the low block the Geodude throws.
 
Last edited:

sky_

life is a trip alright (picrew by chereverie)
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
181
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
719
Location
A place to nap
Nature
Gentle
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Ghost
  2. Normal
Pokédex Entry
They are happy with rest, quiet and cuddles. They may try to be edgy or mysterious, but are often told that they present as the opposite.
aLKSDHSJKfchsdk oh wow where do i begin here, all the epic theories omg xDDD also the artist's reference thing sounds really cool!

are they in some sort of dream world? alternate world? why is the Champion familiar to Celeste somehow? His surname was not mentioned and the Gym Leaders find Trey's surname familiar... is that a coincidence? i think not ;p

also the Gym fight was super neat! i love how Lilac's agility and speed when dancing came to help her out so much in the actual fight. and Celeste saving poor Drey was awesome xD i especially love the Gym Leader change, she is much more intimidating than Brock and it's really cool to see. even the arena is cooler xD i wonder what happened to the city though? the reveal of some previous Big Bad Catastrophe might be on the horizon xD
 

Uberle

Legends done, back to writing
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
209
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,630
Nature
Lax
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
Pokédex Entry
Stays in the distortion dimension where no one bothers him
Back to reality
And immediately gets run over by the demon girl
Checks out

I like how the gyms have become a lot more systematic
It's not just a child kicks down the door and throws their Grass/Water type at the leader
We have a process, and given the state of the city it's an expensive one, but guessing it's part of a past everyone hopes to return to

The image of a Mankey doing that dance is the absolute funniest thing and I hope other stuff like this happens

Oh right Celeste can do stuff like that
You almost forget considering she spends most of her time being the most gremlin gremlin
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,045
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
I recently reread Girl and Karp for the joy of it and decided to go on and check out this run, and DAMN is it fascinating 👀 What actually IS Celeste? What is her connection to Mike? Trey is, I'm guessing, a descendant of Cassie and Lillie, who were having a baby at the end of GaK, but Trey doesn't seem to know anything about them. So have Cassie and King been resurrected somehow? Is there some wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff going on? Is there some interdimensional connection to the dead, or perhaps a special sub-dimension where the souls of Heroes go? I know this one hasn't updated in a long time but I'm willing to hope it returns again someday, when you're ready and life is treating you well, because it's well-written and very, VERY interesting. Plus I do like a good war-torn Kanto :P
 
OP
Obelisk

Obelisk

no sleep only bnuuy
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
155
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
366
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
Pokédex Entry
Eccentric 'locker obsessed with Magikarp.
It's been a little while since I interacted with my run (August?! what the fu-) or the Forums in any way. I am sincerely sorry about that.

I'm going to be honest, I have been struggling beyond belief to motivate myself to pick up on this story (and I may have completely lost the plot beats i wanted to roll with, which only complicates it), as well as a general disinterest in Pokemon because of other games being more interesting to me in the moment (why are you so addicting, Destiny?!).

But...here I am. I'm gonna do what I can to get myself back into the groove! I'm going to try and finish the gameplay, try to collect what the plot beats were - thank god I have a loose mouth on Discord about story beats.

For now, here we are!

aLKSDHSJKfchsdk oh wow where do i begin here, all the epic theories omg xDDD also the artist's reference thing sounds really cool!

are they in some sort of dream world? alternate world? why is the Champion familiar to Celeste somehow? His surname was not mentioned and the Gym Leaders find Trey's surname familiar... is that a coincidence? i think not ;p

also the Gym fight was super neat! i love how Lilac's agility and speed when dancing came to help her out so much in the actual fight. and Celeste saving poor Drey was awesome xD i especially love the Gym Leader change, she is much more intimidating than Brock and it's really cool to see. even the arena is cooler xD i wonder what happened to the city though? the reveal of some previous Big Bad Catastrophe might be on the horizon xD
I wanna just mention that I've off-handedly mentioned the Big Bad Catastrophe in dialogue/thoughts in earlier chapters - it's tied into what happened to Trey's family!
And thank you - i struggled a bit with capturing the movement in my head. I never really felt that my battle scenes were all that great, so hearing that is helpful!

Back to reality
And immediately gets run over by the demon girl
Checks out

I like how the gyms have become a lot more systematic
It's not just a child kicks down the door and throws their Grass/Water type at the leader
We have a process, and given the state of the city it's an expensive one, but guessing it's part of a past everyone hopes to return to

The image of a Mankey doing that dance is the absolute funniest thing and I hope other stuff like this happens

Oh right Celeste can do stuff like that
You almost forget considering she spends most of her time being the most gremlin gremlin
you're entirely spot on with the comment about the gyms. They're a bit of structure and consistency in what is essentially a completely flattened Kanto!

and yes, there is a lot more to Celeste than it seems...


I recently reread Girl and Karp for the joy of it and decided to go on and check out this run, and DAMN is it fascinating 👀 What actually IS Celeste? What is her connection to Mike? Trey is, I'm guessing, a descendant of Cassie and Lillie, who were having a baby at the end of GaK, but Trey doesn't seem to know anything about them. So have Cassie and King been resurrected somehow? Is there some wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff going on? Is there some interdimensional connection to the dead, or perhaps a special sub-dimension where the souls of Heroes go? I know this one hasn't updated in a long time but I'm willing to hope it returns again someday, when you're ready and life is treating you well, because it's well-written and very, VERY interesting. Plus I do like a good war-torn Kanto :P
Trey is, indeed, a descendant of those two. if I'm remembering my notes right, they're his great-grandmothers on his father's side.
Cassie and King are very much dead, though. Interpret that as you wish.

Right-o, onto Ch. 5! In this update, we take a look at how Trey's first experience with caves goes. It's...not fun.

Ch. 5: Gruyere
5.31.2200
master, i hope all is well
i have an update for you
i will keep this brief

anomalous activity has been detected in subject 3LK, a.k.a. “celeste”
3LK exhibiting sporadic signs of sapience and anomalous behavior consistent with pre-deploy baseline, including short-range teleportation and paranormal perception

i suspect anomalous behavior is due to 3LK current status quo being altered. transdimensional interactions were detected in 3LK thought patterns, and all interactions seem to originate from our enemy’s Dream World .

current theory is that 3LK was split in twain at deployment with her sapience and consciousness being diverted to enemy Dream World . current cause of this is not yet determined, but assumed to be caused intentionally by unknown agents. will continue observation until new developments emerge.

verdict: 3LK may be attempting to reunite both halves. what this means for continued protection of vip 3 is yet to be determined.

yours truly
colress 5LK
“Eugh,” she seethes, pulling her arm free of the festering sludge. She ignores the intense burning pain in her arm as the last of the sludge tries to devour it. “How many times is that now? Lousy time loops…”

She blinks. For a brief moment, she can see it again. That little glowing crack, that chink in the armor...On the other side of that is Trey. She can reach through, try to touch the other side again. He is so close, yet so far away.

She tries. This time, she can see. A small room with a painting above the bed. Trey unpacking.

Trey. That painting.

She wants to tell him right now, so badly.

He is the First. You are his descendant.

She gets shoved away by some unseen force, barely catching her footing as she slows to a stop. She blinks.

She is before the Muk again. It is sporting paranormal armor.

She smiles. The loop has begun again. She’s lost count of how many loops she’s been through.

“This is the fifth time you guys have tried the armored Muk,” she calls out, addressing no one in particular. “At least let me have a snack or something in between! I’ve been so, so hungry…”
=
I shift around a bit to look around the room. It’s a small office, barely provisioned with what a Nurse would need to perform their job. I’m sitting on the bed thing they use to examine patients, and it’s making my butt hurt. I’m not asking for a five star hotel, but come on.

“Alright. Trey, we aren’t seeing any injuries on any of our tests. You should be fine. Although, considering your description of viewing things through a glass, I would recommend you seek out a therapist when you’re able to.”

Wait, a therapist? No. Nonono, I’m not going. I’m fine. I don’t need that kind of interruption right now.

“Thank you for the recommendation, but-”

Celeste cuts off my train of thought by snorting abruptly and grabbing at her face. I’m not sure, but I think she’s disagreeing with what I was about to say.

“I know where you were about to go with that, Trey,” the nurse says, setting down her clipboard and grabbing something else. “And it’s only a recommendation. You don’t have to take me up on it. I still think it’d do you some good, but...there really is no rush.”

"Right. Ok."

"You're good to go. Just, uh...Keep that thing away from the fruit plants in the hall. I saw it staring intensely at the Wepear plant when you first came in."

Of course she was. Great...

“Yeah, of course. I’ll keep her nearby.”

Uggggh. I’m gonna have to drag her out the door, aren’t I?

...Wait. I have to go into a dimly lit cave with a demon. Okay, this is fine. This is JUST FINE.

==

I am FINE this is FINE why are there so many Trainers in here why didn’t I grab a flashlight- Whoa, whoa. Calm down. Calm down. I’ve got my Pokemon. My flashlight’s in my bag. I can see pretty well. Yeah...alright. Alright.

It’s kinda dark in here. I’d also be pretty cold if it wasn’t for Celeste clinging to me like usual...hold on, where am I going? I should look around, see what’s going on.

Celeste crams her head in the space between my neck and left shoulder. Great, I’ve gotta look around the awkward way. Ok. I know we just came from the left, all of those trainers are back there. To the right is a split path - I know the one to the right is a dead-end. It’s not worth it for me to go that way, so let’s...yeah. I think I see the ladder.

“Celeste, I don’t know if you’re able to talk still or whatever, but…” I start to say. I feel her shove her head into me firmly, like she’s turning to try and look at me instead of straight ahead.

“...I feel a little different and I’m not sure I like it. Have you noticed anything?”

I pause and wait for an answer. I’m not sure if I’m actually expecting one, or if it’s just a habit. Is habit the right word...? Might be courtesy, or whatever. Why am I still being nice to this thing?

I hear her let out a long, drawn-out sigh, then a soft groan. A couple of Pokeballs rattle on my belt- oh, yeah. I feel for my Pokedex and pull it out. I need to see how my team is doing.

Everyone’s doing solid, level wise. The Pokedex says they’re all roughly level 15 or 16, including...wait. I don’t remember this Magikarp? I don’t have the Fishing Rod, and I don’t have access to a body of...oh, right. I got this from the weird guy at the Center outside. I wonder why I forgot about that?

I hear something shuffling around as I’m putting my Pokedex back in my pocket. It’s...to my right, by the ladder? I should verify what that is before doing anything...If it’s a Pokemon, I’m gonna have Lilac stun it so I can catch it. If not, it’s free money.

I pull out Lilac’s ball and let her out. I’m not gonna throw it, since I can’t see very far here...when did it get so dark? I should probably get my flashlight out.

Celeste is making this odd chirping noise, barely loud enough for me to hear. Which is odd since her head is next to my ear. Lilac is getting into a scuffle with what looks like a wild Geodude from where I am - hard to tell. “Lilac,” I call out, “you should probably get that Geodude down and out quickly. I’m starting to get a bad feeling about all of this…”

I feel Celeste start to shudder like a terrified Growlite. The chirping is intensifying and she’s gripping my shoulders a little too hard- owowowowowow-

“Celeste that’s hurting stop! What’s wrong?!”

I need to get that flashlight right now. It should be in the back pocket. Celeste makes the noise again. I, er. Did something just- huh. I don’t feel her on my back anymore. Wait, wait. Why is the cave so silent all of a sudden?

Lilac whines, loudly. I call her back into her ball as soon as I hear that and grab the flashlight. The metal is cold to the touch. I kneel- I need to listen closely. What the hell is that noise? And why is it right in f...ront of...me?

I’m going to regret this. Where’s the switch on this flashlight- click. That’s a loud click. Celeste is hunched over in front of me, shuddering slightly. Is she in pain?

“Celeste, are you-” ohshitwhattheF̸̢̧̛̗͈̗̫̦͉̈́̈́̎̿͆̾̃͋̚ͅU̵̧̹͈̪͙̯̺͎̔́͒̔̔͒͆̓͂̅̒̑͋̕͝C̷̨̢̺̲̺̺̙̪̺̬͖̰̫͙̀̽́̇͘͜K̴͇̘͚͉̦͖͈̘̠̻̩̄̓̂̈́̈́͜Î̵̛͈̙͔͉̮́̒̆Ś̷̳̠̦̞̪̭̼̩͛Ț̶̼̮̉͆̓̓̉͌̈͋͘͠͝͠͝͝H̸̘̿̍͌̒͗̏̓̃̆͊̎A̸̧͓̳̻͕̰̞͙͖̩͖̖͍͙͙̒̓̔̕T̶̻̟͓̞͍͔̝̠̻̣͍͚͐̊͌͘

=


W̸̨̛͓̩̘̤͔̓͗̈́̒̍̊̐̉̾̈́̈́͜͝h̷̢̢̧̠̼̬̳̝̙̜͚͈̠͈̒e̶̢̨̱̹̩̪̱̞̩̙̬̗͈̯̳̥̮̳̽̿͋̏́̌̊̀̇̌̍̾̈r̸̡̨̻͇̲͉͕̦͇̬̬̣̦͚͚͕̙̜͖̒̀̊̆͋͊̀́̀́̄̔̓̊̍́͂̚̚͘ͅę̵̨̛̝͉̞̉̚̚ ̶̮̘̠̪͙̇į̶̛̦̩̪͚̖̻̳̺̫͕̝͗̀̾͊̆̈́̿̈́̀̽͆̑̚̕͠͝s̸̡̢̧̭̼̹̜͍̓̏̑̂̆̀̒ ̸̗͖͈̞̟̫͖̫̥̘͎̇̀ͅͅͅt̵̖͚͎̯͔̰̪̟̳̪̞̝͓̻̲́͂̋͗̉͊͑̎̾̄̆̄̆̎̎̆͗́ͅḫ̸̡͕̬̟̯̳̖̣͓̥̑̀͆e̷̢̜͇̎̊͐̌̅̈̐̆͜͝ ̴̡̧̦̩̳̝̂̎̓̀̒́̾͒͌̔͂͠f̸̯̻͗͜u̶̧̧͉͎͉͇̎̓͌c̴̝̳̩̮͉͚̥̳͓̳͙̳͓̆͐̄͗͊̈́̚ͅͅk̷̨̩͙̣̰̗̺̜͔̥̹̣̠͔̬̣̰̃̒́̾͌͂͛̿̽̏̈́̎͆̓̾̑̕͘̚͜ͅi̵̩̜͕͈͑͗̍̅̂̄͊̔̂̆́̓̉͘̕̕͝n̶̢̜̝͕̏̃̈́̈́̆͂̒̔̃͛͠ģ̷̨̫̹̗̭͕̯̻͍̜̭̫̹̩̮̹̜̿̈́͊͒̿͊̐̐̚͝ͅ ̴̨̻͎͓̓̈͂̋̅͛͋̒͗̉͂̈́͝ȩ̷̹̘͇̘͔̲̹͍̔̇̔̔̇͐̓͆͆͗̏̚͘͝ͅx̵̢͈͔̩̭͍̙̤̦̓̂̒͆̋̋̃͗͆͌̕̚ǐ̶̜̲̖͍̳̞͖̤̦̜̪̩͈͍̣̭̼̼̩͖̃̔̀̍̍͂͑͘͝ţ̵̰̗͉̘̯͍̩̖͖͚̭͍̱̳̈́̄̌̿͒̈́̾́́̂̏͂͋̄͌̊̃̕͘ ̴̳̭̖̫͉̳̾͒̈̈I̴̧̢̢̛̦̬̠̭̙̝̫̺͓̙͙͌͐͑̓͛̈̔͆̅̐͋̀̚ ̵̢̨̛̱̺̤̻̞̟̤̒̆̔̎͑͊̈͐̽̈́̽̏̑n̵̰̘͕̩̅̍̐e̷̢̛̱̼̖̹̩̭̼̩̹̣͐̅̏̒͑̉̆̄̐̃͛͋̿̐͘͠͠͝e̸̢͎̺͓̦͉͎̖̩̙̖̖̗̗͎̅͋̊̀̈d̵̥̰̥̹͈͚͊̓͋̅͘̚ ̴͈͚̱̩̭̻͎̺̮͙̟̼̠̼̝̹͕̞̜́̊̕ţ̶̧̰͔̬̗̰̯̬͉͙̻̞̖̙͎̄͋̈̊͊̔̏̾̽̐̏̌̓͐̋͆̆͗͊͝ḩ̶̛͆͂̏͋͛̃̈́̋̍̓e̶̛̛̱̲̣̣̮̝̠̗͗̿͆́̇̈́̊͋̆͊̓̅̚͘ ̶͉̹͔͍̱̱̗̥̲̜̤̯̙̣̟̺̰̣̀̓̄̈́̀͛f̶̧̥̺̪̀̄̌̋̋̀̀͊̕͝u̸̢̧̻̼̭͔̼̜̫̣̻͇̪̣̻͗̐̌c̷̨̱̭̞̙̪͔̭̮̘͈͔̮̹͍̩̐͛̽͛͂̈́̅͆̎̿́͐͋͘͠͝k̷̬͇̦͓͕̫̳̱̈́̈́ī̸̡̘̘̫͙̱̻̥̜̹͙̺̳̮̳̀̌͂̔̈̄̈́͘n̵̛͇̲̣͔̟͔͍̠͓̰̩͉͇̿̄̅͒͌̓͛̅̈́̉̋̇̍̓̉͜͠g̸̡̛̫̫͙̫̞̰͚̟̣̬͊̌́̎̿͘͠ͅ ̷̛̭̍͌͗́̓͂̚̕͠e̶̡̢̼̝̘̗͖͔̤͋̈́ͅx̵̡̢̞̤̩̥̯̹̱̼͂̈́͜͜i̵̧̢̡͕͚̝̯̠̬̮̼̞̜̤̬͉̥̳̱̣͑̈̕t̷̯̠͕̱̟̯̙͎͋͂̍̅͋͂̃̅̋̈̿͗͋̈́͜͝ ̸̢̤̲̮̍͑͑̈́͜͜͠͝ͅş̶̨͚̞̝͎̞̰̥̪̬̟̹̑̍̌͐͗̏̂̓̿̿̋̍̕̕͝͝͠ͅḩ̷̛̛̥̬̰̘̹̹̤̻̖̹̈͑͑̃̽̀͊̋̐͌̎̓̇̈̇̾͘i̸̡̺͚͇̬͈͔͇̖͔͗́͗̒̊̎͆͘͝t̷̮͖͖̞̭͖̘̘͚͍̽͌͌̇̅̓̕ ̷̡̘̲̭͈̍̿̈͒̾́͆̏͠f̶͚͋͗̔̄̐̿̐͘̚͝ü̷̧͚̞̤͎̮̣̝͕̅̓̉̀͗́̑̏̽̄̊̐̃̊̾̐̇c̵̢̨̺͔̖̻̦̥̝̤̗͙̥̭̀̕k̸̡̭̱̙̻̘̳̦̬̝̰̞͓̬͎̎͗̿͒̀͌̃͌͘̕͜ ̴̨̤͚̩̻̼̞̩̺̭̮̦̱̝͒̍̽̏̽͆̉̀̿͒̃͌͗̚f̶̨̨͚̫̻̮̖͖͈͇͉̯̲̱͉̌̔͒̿͐̋́͐̈́̕̕͘̚͝û̸̡̜̼̲͍͓̼̯̙̤͇̤̤͇̱̓͆ͅc̷̛̮̑̈̀͛̌ḱ̷̨̜̪̙͓̗̲̟̤̲̬̖̕͝ ̸͉̪̑̇͆f̵͉̃́̾́́̈́̊͑́̉͌̈͛͘͘͝ư̴̡̟̘̩̝͛͒̄̆̊͑̿̔̐͂̃͠͝͠͠c̷̢̯̫̦̫̹̪̲̲̦̬̖̒̏̔̓̃̀̏́̓̍͐̕̚̕͜ͅk̷̨̙͖͙̬̦̦̮̯̖͔̮̟̥͙͛͗̽̓͌͌͑̑ ̸̢̡̨̬̪͎̗̩̩̯͖̭̤͙̼̯̰̘͙̒̔͜o̶̺̜̾̋̾h̷̨̨̧̜͍̯͉̝͕̩̘̃̒̊̀̈̾̀̾̒͝͠ ̸̢̖͔͍͉͓̳̟̄͂̈́̎̆͝Ā̴̯͎r̶̨̧̛͓̲͈̥̱̗̞̱̩̬͒̍͊̓́͊̎c̵̣͈͗̎͊͐̾̅̿̍͐̇̆̔̈̋̈͂̈́̋͝ė̸̛͕̇͌̾̎̇̀̍ų̴̡̛̛̖̗͙̪̈͛̍̓̄͊͂̐͆̇̆̇̋̚͝s̴̡̖͙̪̼͔͍̞̲̘̥͙̀̌̏̍͆͛̀͐̚͘͜ ̵̠͉̬̪̭͈̮̯͍̞̹͓͎̫͂̾͛̊̍̀͛̈̆͑̕͝͝ͅţ̶̦͓͎̰̼̥̯̪̮͍̏̉͐̿̂͂̄͐͑͌̏̐̾͒͗͐̚͝͝ͅḧ̷̢̡̧̻͎̭̣̲̠̯̠͍̬̣̳͇͇͓͖͕́̓̈́ę̵̰̲̺͎̩͕̬̥̩̦͉̈́̋̉̂̀͒́̔̈́̂̓̈́̎̓́̕̚͠ȓ̸̡̡̨̛͙̜͙͉͙̜̩̱̦̘̮̒͆̉͆̿͝ę̸̧̙̥̭͙͛͠͠ ̸̧̛̞̪͈̩͎͚͙̬̲̘̤͇͚̹̱̄̃̇͛̉̑͊̑̀̚ͅì̵̛̲̦̫̘̪̰̝̜͉̞̹͗͆̈́̏̍͐̾̈́͌͘͘͜͜͜͝t̷̡̡̨̨̗̩͍̻͇̭͍̬̙̭͚̾͋̔͂ͅ ̷̧̧͖͎̜̪̳̝̤͎̭̗̩͓̞̪͕͂ị̴̧̛̛̪̟͈̘̻͎͇̩̭͓̺̖̪̫̪̣̫̰̀͒͋͛͂̾̆̚͝s̷̡̹̪͓̩̮̭̠̭̦͖̗̗̦̼̱͇̱̃̒͌̇̉̆̄̈͛̈́̓͌͜͜͝͝ ̵̢̛̰͎͕̙͙̠̞͉͇̠̞͎̙̒ͅģ̸̺͚̥͇̞̇̆͠͝ộ̷̢̡̧̢̣͎̜͎̩͙͔̣̹̼̮̰̺̋͊̿͐̈́̄͂̕̚͜ͅģ̸͙̗̒̌̑̌͊̍̑̔̈́̀̃̑͛ǒ̴̹̥̼̱͉̠͉͕̂́̒̔̎̈́ͅͅͅģ̴̨̗̬͙̺̟̩͗͗͋̓̑͗̀̀̈̄̀̆͆̇̎͘ǫ̴̡̢̢̨̟̥͍͓̪̥̞͎̼̲̗̦͇͔̀̈̈́̕͜g̴̨̧͚̖̦̮͖̗̯͙̜̩̖͕̻̼͎̳̈̍͐̆̂͑̂̌̄̈́̏͂̄̀͠o̵̢̥̳̞̪̼̰̞͉̪̣̠͙͓͉̅̃͒̔́͆̕͜g̶̨̧̧̘̥̩͕̃̈́́̀̾̇͊̽̃̐̊̄͑͐͋́͆͑́ͅơ̷̘̻̼̭̲͕̼̫̯̻̌̓̑̐̈́͒̊̔̍̂͐͝g̵̻͎͍̥̥̟͔̙̗̦̜͇̳̾͐̉̿̎̚͝o̶̡͙̘̜̟̊ ̵̲̇̊͐̍̀̀̎




Oh Arceus finally, fucking finally!

Finally.

Finally...I’m out of this damn cave. The air out here is so much cleaner. Just breathe. Breathe. I need to keep moving. I don’t want that...thing catching up to me. Just another half mile to go before Cerulean. Just one foot in front of the other.

I can feel my heart pounding away like crazy. My hands are shaking nonstop. Please just move, feet. One after the- I think I hear her. Crap, crap, crap gogogogogwhycan’tImove?!

Celeste is behind me. I can hear the breathing. Please don’t, please don’t- she’s grabbing my feet. Please stop. I. Stop climbing up my back please, please please…

She huffs and wedges her head against my neck and left shoulder again. She’s colder than normal, and she’s still shuddering. It doesn’t feel...it’s like, she’s not hurt? I think she’s terrified. It feels like the kind of shuddering Brandy did as a Growlithe when she got spooked.

I wonder where Brandy is. How long has it been since she ran off? Ah, nonono. Not a good time to get upset over that. I need to help Celeste. I can hear her whining faintly.

“Celeste. Are you alright?”

A slight jerk of her head. She’s still responding to me. Good.

“Let’s just sit down for a bit and settle down. I think we’re both having a really shitty day, and a break would help. I’m shaking like hell because of this adrenaline rush, and I’m going to have a heart attack if I don’t get some rest. I’m not sure, but I think you’re feeling really bad about whatever the fuck that was back there.”

A soft groan. It sounds almost like a protest. I guess she wants us to just push forward.

“Let’s just sit down. Come on.”

Huh. I wonder why she isn’t reacting to me touching her face. I usually would’ve been bitten by now.

“Celeste...c’mon.”

She groans and climbs off. Man, my back is sore already. Anyways. Time to sit down and see what happens. She curls up. I haven’t seen her do that before. This is...interesting. Do I chance touching her head? Her guard is down and she seems less on edge. Eh, fuck it. I either get away with it or get bitten.

...Huh. Has her fur always been this, uh. How do I put it? It's not like...soft like a Growlithe, but not rough like a Herdier. It’s nice. And a bit cold. I don’t remember her being this cold, but then again, this is Celeste.

She isn’t protesting at all, either. I think she might be okay with it…

Maybe this isn’t so bad. We got through Mt. Moon...In one piece, I guess? I have a Magikarp that’ll potentially evolve in the next few days, and the gym is a day out from here. Celeste is behaving decently enough to let me comfort her, and her fur feels nice to the touch. Everything should be getting better...I hope.


So...a while ago, I finally established the general theme of this story, and this chapter is sort of an initial foray into introducing those concepts since the prior chapters have been a bit aimless before. A lot of what's going to be mentioned/depicted going forward is going to be derived from personal experience and may be uncomfortable to read. Just mentioning now, so people can be ready for that.

I still tried to keep the insanity at the same time - let me know if I need to fine-tune things.
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,045
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
Ooooh, Celeste lore… (The bits behind the black bars are ESPECIALLY juicy 👀 unless I shouldn’t have highlighted those to read them, in which case gee whiz I wonder where her consciousness is!)

Time loops? Trey’s descendent? Is this some Assassin’s Creed style of thing where what we’re seeing isn’t Trey but a genetic memory/dream of Trey…?

WELL FUCK MT MOON SURE IS A FUN TIME TODAY HUH

Celeste is already a pretty freaky lil demon, so I’m not sure I wanna know what could scare her...
 

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
204
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,251
Location
Fochun
Nature
Brave
Pronouns
He/Him / They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
Awwwww yiss we get some more of the black bars madness I remember from GaK! I adore the stream-of-consciousness writing you've used for the panicked part, and now I have even more questions about Celeste! I won't ask, though; I'll find it all out in good time!
 
OP
Obelisk

Obelisk

no sleep only bnuuy
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
155
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
366
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
Pokédex Entry
Eccentric 'locker obsessed with Magikarp.
In which Obelisk vanishes for an even longer time. I'll be honest, for the longest time I could not get myself to do anything constructive with any of my Pokemon content or games. Everything just felt like a brick wall without any meaningful progress. Especially grinding.

That said, let's get back into the groove of things...

@SayleeK
The intent was for people to highlight them! So yes, lots of l o r e there.
And sadly, no. Assassin's Creed was not an inspiration for this run, but I can see where you're coming from!

I suffered in mt. moon, so it's only fair to make Trey have a good time, yeah? lol And you...kinda don't want to know what Celeste saw.


@Vivace you did find out about it in good time 👀 and thank you! The stream of consciousness has not been easy to establish.

Let's see where Trey's been over the past year, hm?


Maceration
(Noun)
Maceration is the process of preparing foods through the softening or breaking into pieces using a liquid.

I look over at my PokeDex… It’s 10 AM. I guess I got more sleep than I needed last night. I wonder if Celeste-

“mlbbbrgh.”

“Celeste, I know. You want me to get moving -”

phbbhbhhbh!

“yes, I know-”

I had to duck to avoid the Wepear that time. Point taken. Packing has been easier this morning, now that I think of it. The last couple of days, I’ve been taking down the tent first in order to get Celeste to crawl out of it, but…

Ah hey, is that…? It is. Who’d leave a rare candy sitting around like this? Still brand new and in its wrapper too…huh. In the bag it goes. Maybe I can give it to Kip?

She was the first one up today, rather than me. And this time, she was staring down at the city rather than at me. Her eyes were crossed out today rather than their usual diamond shape. I need to be careful.


“Celeste, make sure to behave yourself today. Cerulean isn’t nice to demons like you.”

She snorts at me like I just insulted her. What a brat.

“Let’s go.”

=

It’s kinda chilly around here…Which is pretty annoying, because even though I was getting into a lot of random battles with the trainers around here. You’d think that battling would get the blood flowing and get you warmer? It didn’t warm me up like I thought they would.

Another thing I’m not enjoying are the stares from the rich, poofy-types that live around here. I knew this place was a millionaire’s paradise, but jeez. Not a single smudge on this place even with the Unovan forces getting within kilometers...miles of this place? I don’t remember. I read that they were close enough to send artillery. Bleh.

I’m probably looking a little ratty, too. I hope the Center isn’t too far...Wait.

Celeste is gripping my shoulders with a lot of force now - what? I can feel her weight shifting around as she bobs her head off to one side to look at something. Last time this happened, it ended poorly. I’m just gonna get to where I need to go and rest. I don’t need this nonsense.


“Hey, you!rings out from to my left. Oh, for fuck’s sake. Celeste grunts indignantly as I turn to the right and pick up the pace. Did she have her head too low and hit the bag or something? I thought I felt it hit something.

“Wait, wait wait, don’t you want a new move?!”

Huh? Wait, that isn’t Gray’s voice. I stop and turn, bringing my hand up to hopefully keep Celeste calm. It’s…some guy in a karategi. Okay…?

“I am the Mega Moves Master, and I would love to teach your Pokemon a powerful move or two that will be sure to put your foes in their place! Would you like to give it a try?”

Well… Powerful move, huh?

“Do you have any information available for the moves so I can look it over for a minute or two?” I ask. One of my Professors did mention that there are fake move tutors around. What was it- ah, he said legit ones have some kind of written documentation.

“Absolutely. I have a card right here.” he replies, producing a business card and presenting it with a bow. I bow back and accept the card from him…sigh. I have to hold it at arm’s length.

“Celeste, please don’t try to take it out of my hand until I’m done reading.”

She doesn’t respond by noise, but she does stop reaching for the card. Her arm falls down and essentially drapes itself across my torso. At least she’s cooperative. Let’s see…Mega Kick. Estimated 120 power with 75% reliability? A bit risky given that it’s a 1 in 4 chance of the move not working. Mega Punch is…estimated 80 damage, 85% reliability? Well, if anything, these moves are a lot better than what I’ve got-

“uuuuussseeee.” groans Celeste. She starts grabbing at Lilac’s Pokeball with the coordination of someone who’s had too much Taco Bronzor as well as one too many Guillotines.

“Lllliiiii….” she starts. I whisk the ball out of its socket and away from her, then scan the card one more time. Nothing else of note, but the seal on it from the League looks legitimate.

“Sorry to interrupt, sir. Do you need a few more minutes?” the Master asks. His tone of voice is very gentle - he seems more concerned about me than anything else.

I realize that I’m wearing a pretty bitter expression on my face right now. I close my eyes for a moment and…one. Two…three. Alright.

“You’re fine. My bad - just got a weight on my shoulders these days. I would like to have you teach these moves to my Mankey, if that’s alright?”

He smiles and holds his hands out politely.

“Please, allow me a few minutes with your Mankey, sir. I will need some room to present the moves to them.”

I set the ball in his hands and bow. “Thank you for your services…Mega Move Master, was it?”

“Correct. You are welcome. Feel free to take a seat anywhere you feel comfortable. I will be back.”

I think I’ll do that.

“cCccCcccarefuuuul. dddDddanger a- aheaaaad.” Celeste slurs - wha?

“What, him? That guy just wanted to teach Lilac a couple of moves.”

“nnooOooo.” she groans, sounding almost…angry at me.

“iiIIii…here soon. wait…w-wait f-foooor…me.”

…What is she talking about, ‘wait for me’?

Eh. I don’t think I’ll need help with whatever she’s on about.




Just like that, the crack between realities fizzles out once again. A small wisp of smoke emerges from the space that once burned between both planes. She feels the smoke’s scent change color, tastes a new sound and then…nothing.

“DAMN IT!” she yells, slamming her fist against the little crack in the rubble of what was once an imitation of Celadon City’s Pokemon Center - the only crack in this broken, dream-like hellscape. She sinks to her knees, the pain across her body intensifying from the endless violence she’s been forced to endure in this space.

“Trey, listen to me! I…Listen…He can’t hear you, Celeste. Who are you kidding?”

She turns and puts her back to the wall as she sinks further. The battles are wearing on her, and she knows she’s running out of time. Her stomach growls. Being hungry is the least of her worries, she thinks to herself. She watches the horde of Muk march around the corner.

They don’t notice her and turn the other way. She waits until the train of Muk vanishes in the distance, then carefully stands herself back up. A quick once over of herself confirms the severity of her injuries, and she sighs. ‘I guess that big metal lug’s training helped after all. Definitely ain’t walkin’ much longer like this.’ she thinks.

“I wish you were still around, Tech. Maybe ya could’ve helped me punch my way outta here.” she says out loud, limping off into a dark alleyway to try and recover from the fights.




“Agh- Bud, I said to be gentle with that Pokemon!”

Bud looks at me, clueless. He just knocked out my catch for this route. Great. Great…

“...Don’t worry about it. Our team’s pretty good right now.”

I take a second to stretch. It’s been kinda rough, traveling through a mountain of hell and the majority of Route 4. Cerulean is pretty close, but I also have a pretty good supply of healing items…I suppose I could get some training in.

“Celeste, do you think I should bring the team up?”

A soft snort.

“Good. How does level 17 sound?”

Silence. Why did I think she was going to give me a proper answer? I pull out the Pokedex and look over the team roster. There should be an option here to set a level goal…there it is. Seventeen…perfect. Let’s start with Lilac, since Bud is already at the right level.

“Alright, come back for now.” I say to Bud, and he hops over to me as I get his ball to call him back. Once he’s stashed away with the others, I throw Lilac’s ball. As soon as her feet touch down, she launches into what looks like an aerobic dance. It…looks kinda cool, actually.

“Lilac, we’ve gotta train until you get to level 17. Do you want to have some fun with it, put some classic music on?”

She stops dead in her tracks, looks at me then claps her hands and runs up to me to get her boombox. That’s a definite yes!

I give her the boombox and watch her run off to the grass to set up her stereo. I wonder what dance routine she’s gonna use today? I look to my left and Celeste is just sitting around, staring off into empty space.

Lilac picks out a tape and puts it on blast - it’s some very old song. I can’t tell how old it is, but the sound of it makes me think of history class…I wanna say 2010s, maybe? She’s maybe appreciating the classics just a bit too hard.

Then again, we still listen to Beethoven.

I close my eyes. A few minutes wouldn’t hurt right?



I open my eyes to check, and immediately see the sun is getting low in the sky. Crap, I fell asleep!

I sit up and look around. Celeste is standing guard with her back to me, and I can barely make out that my belt of Pokeballs is in her hands. I guess she decided to supervise the team’s training after I passed out.

Sitting up, I tap her on the shoulder, and she turns her head 180 degrees…as usual.

“Er, thanks for helping out with that…I guess?”

She turns herself around and clumsily puts the belt of Pokeballs down before producing a Wepear and eating it, staring at me intensely. Well…I don’t need to speak demon to know what she’s trying to say. ‘Get your butt going, Trey’. Looking at the Pokedex, it looks like the team is at level 17 like I wanted. Nice…

I hear footsteps, followed by a subtle growl from Celeste. Oh Arceus d-

“Finally caught up to you, ya piece of shit.” Gray says, directly behind me. “Sleep well, Cinderella?”

I get up and shake my head. “If you took the time to learn your fairy tales, you’d know that it’s Sleeping Beauty you’re talking about. You here to shit-talk me again?”

“Nah,” he says, smirking. “I’m just here to stop ya.”

What? I open my mouth to say something-

“Your journey ends here, asshole. I’m not letting you take another step further.” he interrupts, sending out a Pidgeotto. I’m not ready for this, shit! What do I- why is my chest so tense?! Where’s the pokeballs? Where, where- Damn it.

I throw the closest one I can get to, and Randy comes out. Shit. I really have no choice!

“Randy, get a Hyper Fang off!-”

“Put some sand in the little rat’s eyes. Make it suffer.” Gray interrupts again. Damn it, is he actually serious about this? What did I even do?!

Randy takes off and gets his attack off, sinking his teeth into the back of the Pidgeotto before it flings him off and starts kicking up a small sandstorm. I can see Celeste in the corner of my eye twitching and shifting towards me- wait, she drove him off last time can I use her to do that again? God I hope so-

“Randy-” “Peck its eyes out!” “-Hyper Fang- Gray, what the fuck?!”

Gray just grins at me and turns to the brawling Pokemon. Randy is deftly dodging the Pidgeotto’s Pecks, taking advantage of his size and speed. He makes a very fast 180 degree turn and lunges at the Pidgeotto’s chest, the move making the bird flinch in surprise. That bite looked like it
hurt, jeez!

“Quick Attack!” I shout out, right as Randy breaks off from that Hyper Fang, and he immediately pushes off the ground and headbutts the Pidgeotto hard enough to knock the wind out of it. It slumps over, gasping for air. Gray frowns, recalls it, then starts fishing for his next ball. I can run right now comeongrabtheballandbelt-

“Randy, back! Let’s go-”

“OH NO YOU DON’T!”

A Rattata suddenly appears in front of me, and all I can do is jump. I throw the next ball in line at it and run to the side. I hear Lilac grunt in rage and a sharp ‘thwack’, followed by Gray yelling an obscenity. Looks like she took care of the problem…Fuck. Running’s impossible. I turn back around and call Lilac back.

Gray grabs a ball at random, and I send my next one out- wait, crap, what order was the team in? I watch my ball open and…Damn it, it’s Kip.

Gray’s ball opens and-

“An Abra? Gray…an Abra???”

“...Not a damn word about this.”

He just calls his Pokemon back. I do the same, and I fish out Randy’s ball again. I hear Celeste growl again, but the tone is very, very different. I throw the ball and she follows it with her eyes. She almost looks as if she wants to lunge and grab it-

“Charmander, fry the rats!”

Crap!

“Randy, same thing as the Pidgeotto, two Hyper Fangs into a Quick Attack!”

Randy tucks his head down and takes off for the Charmander, landing both of his Hyper Fangs at ease, despite taking several Embers to the face. He goes in for the Quick Attack- damn it, what’s with this feeling of dread?

“Did you really think you were gonna get away with that? Charmander, show him what we do to pesky assholes like him and his team.” Gray says calmly, smiling so wide I can see his teeth, Celeste barks and grabs at my belt, Charmander slams its hand on Randy’s back and I hear a sickening crunch. Shit, Randy! I need a Potion-

Randy screams in agony as a deluge of flames roars from the Charmander’s mouth and completely devours him.

“RANDY!”

My legs twitch. My chest feels so tight. I can’t breathe. My heart hurts. All I can do is watch as the flames burn, burn, burn burningdidrandyjustdiewhatthefuckwhywouldhedothatwaitrandygetapotiongohelpgostoprandyrandyRANDY

“Not feeling so hootttnow huh Trey? Ormbye toO hot? Hahaha!!!”

arceuswhyisthishappeningwhattheufckisthereanyoneseeingthiscananyonehelpdosomethingtreygetyourpokedexoutcallthecopscallsomeoneanyonethepokemoncentertheyrerightthere
whyamidoingthiswhyamiherewhythefuckdidithinkitwasagoodideatogoonthisjourneyijustwanttogohomeidontwanttobeherepleasejustiwanttobehomeiwanttogobacktosleeparceuswhy

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! MAKE IT STOP! GET THIS OVERSIZED RAT THE FUCK OFF ME!”

somethingthumpingwhatisthatbrainpleasestopineedtofocusletmefocuspleaseineedtoseewhatjusthappened
icantwiththisanymorejustletmegohomeidontwanttodealwiththisanymoreiwantmymomanddadiwanttobehome

w̷̘̳̆̔͜h̷̺̩̮͂́̀a̷̢̫͊t̵̝̪̲̃ï̴͍ș̴̩͛̕t̶͖̓͗̊h̴̹͈͇͘e̸̬̺͌̒f̵̡̣̀͌u̸͖̦͐̆̈͜c̴̡̩̦͗̐k̷̠̽͝ỉ̷̧̭̓͝n̷̗̟̏g̶̙͚̽̄̃p̸̘̳̘̀̏o̶̜͎͝ȋ̸̡̹͚n̷̼̝̿t̸̹̓ö̶̺́̽̚f̸̱̼̆å̵̗͖n̴̦̞͑̋͜͠ỳ̸̱͌ǫ̸͐f̶̙̑̂͛t̷̨́ḩ̵̬̄i̵̛̳͆̑ś̴̡͙ŵ̴͎̦̹̣̥̤̠͖̾̔̐h̶͇̾͋͋̚͘͜͝y̷̬͖̟̯̣͆͑̓̈́́̐͘ą̶̢̬̼̲̈̌̀̕ḿ̶̱͙̩̦͚̦͙̄ͅḭ̸̧̻̬͓̺̮̾̅̈̾̐ǎ̴̡͍̜͓̪̜̮͕͌͂̑́́͗̕͘l̶̨͎̝̖̩̙̲͓̤̂̌̓́̉̿͐̚͠i̶̢̜͌́͐v̸̲̮̻̳͈̥̰̰͆̽͂̒̓̀ͅê̵̠w̷̧̨̜̩̭̼͎̔͂̌͑̇̕͜ḧ̶͍̤̪͎́̀͐͘̕͝à̶͉͚̹̹̮̩̭̖̣͝t̶̬͈͗͌̚͝ả̶̠͂̅̐̚͝m̸͍̊̆̃̽͝ì̵̧͎̤̟̙̲̺͙̈́̊͂͊͜e̶̜̩͚͑̅͌̀v̴̥̥̰͚͖̭̞̱̅̀̈́e̴͓̭̗̘̬͑̇͘̕n̴̙̹̤̖̺̤̖̘̟͊̑̽͗̀̓͘ḋ̵̨̨͇̜̜̓̏͂͗́͠o̷̢̢̺͑͂̊̍͛̑͐̉į̸̖̑̄n̴̢̟̈́͆͆͊̉̅ğ̸̳̼̪̀̕ȟ̸̢̧̛̘̩̪̜̳͈͐͊̌̅̀̕͝ͅe̵̻̭͖̩̬͖̣̾̊̍̌̌͜r̵̛̖̗͌̋̂͛͐̀͠e̵̟̗̎̎i̷̡̨̛͇̫̦̦̼̱̻̤̝͖̖͆̌́̄̔́͑̈͠͝s̷̨͈͓̠͙̟̘͐̄̎̎͑̄̚͝ḩ̴̨̢͔͕͍͔̳͍̬̘͈̈́̿͛͐̾̈̄̚͝ͅo̷̢̖̤͇̱̤͈͍͙͒̔̄̋͋̄́͌̌̀̈́̃̕ͅu̴̧̲̻͇̬̰̻͉̳̝̔l̷̡̧͇̫͂̀͛̒̓̓͆̓̀͌̉͘̕d̵͍̠̯̞̦͓͇̳̙̤̾̈́̉̒̈́̀͜͜͜j̴̖́u̷̡̮̙̱̫̗̳͖͕̟͇̭̔̅̐̎̏͗̚̕͜s̸͖̼̘͚̍̓͊̈́͝ͅt̵͎͈̠̤̲͉͍̭̀̓̆̑͗͗̑̌̈́̒̌͘͠f̷͉̞̗̈́̒͊̈̑͊̔̎͠͝u̴̞̹͎̠̳͓̦͌̔͜c̴̡͔̬̤̹̝̗̣̳͎͌́͒͜k̵̢̰̺͇͉͖̝̜̉̉̇́̀i̸̮͐̎̈́͋̃͠͝͠ͅn̵̢̝̘̼̩͈͋̆̄̉̇́ĝ̶̻̯̠̻̞̒͑͒̄͛̊̈́͝g̴͓͉̒̉̋͊̇̑̽͝ǒ̶̙̥͕͍͕̤͈͒̊b̵̪͓͉́͊̈͂̓̂̎̕͝ȁ̴̡̢͙͚͓̥͎̱̝̠̱̆͊́̓̈́̃̈́͌͘͝͝ͅç̷̡̹̻̲̹͉̳̣͕͇̑͊̃͝k̸̡̨̟̖̭̺̮͈͙̫̘̮͉͂̌̐̆͘t̸̨̡̧͖̜̭͖͎͓͊̀́̀̑̒̎ͅͅo̸̹̼̺͓̟̪̥̙̼̖͒͊̀̈̃̄́̋͋͆̽̚̚ş̶̣̪̰̤͙̈́͌̿̊̉̔̑͝͝l̶̛̮̱̭̖̂̀̓͆̎͠e̷̛̮̩̫̩̘̞̓̈͂̍́̈́͒̀̂̕͝e̵̡͓̝͎͖̰͔̘̺̭̰̊͋̒̈͗̓̏̒̀̆p̶̼̺͎̮̫͉̻̥̐̀̑̈́̍̈́͠å̷̧͉̯̑̾́̽͘n̵̡̰̦͉͈̟͍̣͆d̵̡͕͔͍̩̹̣͖̬̽̊̈͋́͆̂̿̍̔͘̚͝ͅn̴̡͎̈̈́̈́̽͒̈́̊̐͗̕e̸̟͈͇̜̝̩̼͍̱̒̉̃̃̐͗̈̚͜ͅv̸̧̨̛̯͍̳̝̖̼̭̠͚̩͇̏͗̃̽̒͂̈́̕ẽ̷̪̫̗̦r̶̢͔̯̥̞͇̝͎͋̍ͅw̸̜̤̼̣͈͖̲̟͊̀̑̆͊͌̌̕͜a̶̛͑̃̀̚͘͜k̸̜͖̟̹̭͇̅͑̅̌̐͂͝e̷̡̺̘̙͗̆b̷̢̭̬͚̫̞̙̩̻͆̀͊̆͊͜͝͝͠a̸̧̬͑̂̀̄̇͋̀̈͊͊c̷̛͕̣͍̤̻͛̓̎̃̓̋͑̃̋́̉̕k̶͍̭̱͉̖̮̜̬̫͒̊͗̽͘͝ù̸̢̮̙̣̰̟̬̩̭̦̼͍̳̈́̋̆̔̋̌̀͒p̷̡͍̯̪͙̱̩̻̘̐̍̚ͅ


“tttttrrreeeeeeyyyyy.”

“trrrreeeeeeeyyyyy.”

“trrrreeeeeyyyyyy.”

“Trrreeeeeeyyyyy.”

go away leave me alone let me be

“Tttrrreeeeeyyyy.” anger. frustration.

“Go away.”

snort. huff. shuffle. hands on me. no. go away.

“Don’t touch me!”

offended snort. silence. finally.

silence…sigh. close my eyes. randy is dead. can smell him. can’t call him back. damn it. why bother with this?

hear her digging. why is she digging. look at her.

digging a small hole. has randy near her.

hurts to breathe. hurts more to move. face feels wet.

“What are you doing?” i ask. voice sounds like trash.

snort. grabs my hand. pulls me.

“Celeste, what are you doing?” ask firmly.

she sighs. takes my hand. gently sets randy in the hole. no, grave. randy’s grave.

she puts dirt in my hand. grumbles gently. guides my hand over randy.

wants me to bury him. ok…

==

I managed to find my way down to the river to wash the dirt off my hands. Well…I say that, but what I really mean is that Celeste dragged me down to the river. Everything hurts. Everything fucking hurts. I still can’t breathe. My heart is going a million miles an hour and no matter what I do, it won’t slow down. I can feel it trying to break out of my rib cage. And no matter how much I wash my hands in the fresh river water, I can’t get the feeling of filth off them…

Celeste has been muttering and making noises for the past few minutes, but I’m a little too nervous to even try to think about looking back at her to see what’s up. She seems different, but I can’t quite place it. Not like I'm thinking all that clearly anyways. What even was that? I’ve never experienced this quite like this. Like…completely losing myself.

And on top of that…Randy’s well and truly gone. Gray fucking burnt him to a crisp. Randy was such a sweet little man, too. I think I’m gonna be sick. I’m gonna…I’m…

I flinch in surprise as a pair of hands covered in white fur find their way around my torso, then someone’s head gently pressing against my back. I freeze.

“Trey, it’s okay. It’s going to be okay.” a sweet voice rings out behind me. It sounds familiar…

“Who-”

“It’s me, Trey. It’s Celeste. I’m sorry I took so long to get here…I was too late. I’m so sorry.”

She presses her head harder into my back…wait, Celeste?

“Trey, don’t say anything. Just take a seat and rest, alright? You’ve had a really bad couple of days.”

I can’t help but sigh quietly.

And I cry. And cry.

I don’t know how long I’ve been crying for. I do know that it’s gone on long enough for night to fall. Celeste gets up before I do and helps me up. Huh…She looks exactly like she does in those strange nightmares. What happened to the weird pokemon-like- wait, is she covered in wounds?!

“I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re wondering where my other form went. And, well, why I’m bruised and all that. Let’s get you somewhere safe first, alright? And then we’ll get me some food, I’m fuckin’ hungry!”

“I…yeah…? I- yeah. I think you’re right. Let’s get to Cerulean.”

Well, first time back in a long time, I guess! There were a couple of things with the chapter I really tried to put a bit of myself into. Namely, the panic attack near the end of the chapter. It's loosely based on thought patterns that I've seen/noticed in myself when I was having my mental health issues circa 2020 and 2021. It's rough remembering this stuff, even rougher having it reflected back in my face through my own writing. But this is me welding what I want out of the run into the actual run, since the direction it originally had was a lot, and I mean a lot different.

Original concept for Devoured: Celeste would be the reason why Trey incurs losses during the run, with the core issue being that Celeste...eats everything. This omnivore concept is only loosely still a character trait with Celeste being a bit food-obsessed (as I'm sure is obvious).

Current core concept for Devoured: Mental health is a brutal thing to deal with, and it can devour you entirely if you don't try to keep yourself mentally well (like how Trey's been neglecting himself a bit and not being the nicest person to others). With this idea in mind, I'm hoping to keep it in focus throughout the story as a sort of "hey, take care of yourself" message to my readers.

This did require that I completely rethink Celeste back in like, Ch. 3, but I think that's paying off now.

One other thing: If the distorted dialogue immediately after Randy's death doesn't make sense...things distort when you collapse into a panic attack. It's not fun.

As for gameplay: Yeah, Randy died in-game about the same way he dies in the story. He got off two Hyper Fangs, and the Charmander looked weak enough to fall to a STAB Quick Attack...I either got extremely unlucky or overestimated how little HP it had because it ate the hit and fried Randy. I knocked out the Charmander with my Magikarp just to spite Gray. And Abra v Magikarp went about as well as expected: Abra spammed Teleport (and failed), while Kip whittled away at it with Tackle.
 
Last edited:

GoGoGogoat

Smiles go for miles!
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
26
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
2,106
Location
the rolling green hills.
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
he/him/they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Cool
Pokédex Entry
Hello, I am a goat. Pleased to meet you.
Is it accurate to say that Celeste is now officially the therapist Trey probably needs but refused to find in Pewter? I ask because her intervention softened the otherwise (ahem) unpleasant outcome of that battle, but also Celeste has quite a few of her own problems, which are now *officially* also Trey's problems probably. On trhe plus side, hooray for getting to have actual conversations now?

(the panic attack bit definitely feels visceral and overwhelming, good stuff but also don't forget to take care of yourself too~)

Also, large squinty eyes at Trey/Gray immediately agreeing that having an Abra around is bad for some reason.
 

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
204
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,251
Location
Fochun
Nature
Brave
Pronouns
He/Him / They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
I'll be honest, for the longest time I could not get myself to do anything constructive with any of my Pokemon content or games. Everything just felt like a brick wall without any meaningful progress.
I know that feel, bro :[

This chapter goes hard, man. I applaud how you used stream-of-consciousness writing here to effectively put us in Trey's head.
 
OP
Obelisk

Obelisk

no sleep only bnuuy
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
155
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
366
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
Pokédex Entry
Eccentric 'locker obsessed with Magikarp.
@GoGoGogoat
There's really not much to the Abra thing... or is there? Stay tuned and find out sooner or later.

I wouldn't officially call Celeste Trey's therapist. If she was his therapist, it'd involve a lot of food and a lot of noodle implements. Like a dozen baseball bats welded into the shape of a wheel.

I appreciate the kind words - I'm in really good shape these days. The stuff I'm drawing from was two years ago at the most recent, so it's not necessarily getting to me as badly as if I had been writing this during that time.

@Vivace Thank you! I'm sure you already know this, but getting through this is a lot from a writing perspective.

And now, another split chapter. Yes, another. I went overboard on the first half. To quote GoGoGogoat "hooray for getting to have actual conversations now"!




Blanching - A cooking process in which a fruit or a vegetable is scalded in boiling water for a short time then plunged into ice water or under cold running water to halt the cooking process. This is usually done as a necessary step for freezing vegetables or fruits.

I've never seen anyone eat so much food. It's been three days, and she's still getting deliveries! How many delivery boxes are in this room now??? Uh, let's see…

One, two, three… fifteen, thirty? Oh, fuck it, that doesn't matter! My wallet- I need to check my bank account, dammit. I pull the Dex out and open the finances app, then look over at Celeste. She's on the phone with the main desk at this Center. Back to the Dex. As I'm logging into the account to check my balance, I see her ears start to droop.

She turns to me with a look of bewilderment as I pull up the balance. “Trey, um…They’re saying that the card is-”

“Declining. Because there’s no money left in my account! How did you spend $5,000 in delivery in three days?! And more importantly, how did you eat $5,000 in delivery in three days without exploding?!

Celeste gives me the most nonchalant shrug I’ve ever seen in my life.

“I didn’t get to eat anything for a couple of millennia.”

“I- millennia? As in thousands of years? How are you not dead?”

Another shrug. Sigh. This demon…

“Nevermind that, Celeste. I’m out of money and now we have to go get more so I can actually keep going with my gym challenge.”

Celeste’s eyebrow furrows for a minute before her face lights up. “Oh, yeah! We could go north and beat up some trainers for money. And while we’re going that way, I overheard someone in the lobby yesterday talking about a thing called the, uh… ‘Nugget Bridge’ up there? You get a nugget or something for beating it. Let’s go there and get our breakfast!”

“I doubt they’d give you food for all that work. It’s probably the gold ball kind of Nugget. The kind you can sell to a store for money.”

“Even better!” she replies, perking up. “We can use that for-”

“If you’re about to say ‘more food’, don’t.”

“You’re no fun.”

I don’t want to get on her bad side, but if she pulls that stunt again…

“You look mad, Trey. Penny for your thoughts?”

“I don’t feel like having my mind picked right now.”

“Can I pick which piece of your mind I get to eat?”

“No- wait, what the fuck?!”

She giggles and smiles at me. “Lighten up a bit, dude. Gotta watch how you carry yourself.”

I…Huh? When did my shoulders get so tense? Alright, deep breath. Relax…

“Much better!” she says, grabbing my hand with one hand and grabbing my stuff with the other. “Let’s go beat Nugget Bridge!”

==

Cerulean looks… clean. Like the war was never here. I'm not that surprised… but-

"But that money should've gone to all of Kanto, right?" Celeste chirps, catching me off guard.

I blink. It takes me a second, but… wait. "Body language again?" I ask, watching her closely to see if she does something similar.

Celeste smiles ever so slightly. "You were muttering to yourself," she says, pointing at her Pokemon-like ears on her head. "And I can hear a lot of things most people can't."

"...Alright."

"Don't think too much about it, Trey. You'll give it away to people you don't want reading your mind." she adds, taking a moment to stretch her arms, then turning to look at me with those weird diamond eyes. "Tell me a bit about Cerulean?"

"I… I guess so. Uh…”

Crap. I wasn’t ready for that. Cerulean, Cerulean…

“Uh, I think the obvious is the best place to start. This place is rich. Like… the average income per household here is like five times the next wealthiest city. Which is… Saffron, and that place has Silph smack dab in the center of town. How this place got so rich, I’m not sure, but that kind of gives them a leg up in most places.”

I hear something to my side and pause for a second. Celeste quickly yanks a ball from my bag, throws it at whatever made the noise, then grabs the ball and runs back up to me.

“Weedle?” she says, holding the ball up like someone would hold up a priceless artifact.

“Appreciate it, but… box.”

The ball disappears in a flash of light, and I see the beginning of a frown on her face. I guess she wanted me to bring it along?

“Hey, Celeste. I’ve got Kip. He’s gonna evolve soon, and I won’t have much to worry about after that point.”

I see a faint smile. That makes me feel a bit better.

“I guess I won’t have to take a piece of your mind later, then!” she responds. I just ignore it.

“Right. Cerulean. They have so much influence that politics basically center around this city. The Gym leader has more pull in the League than any of the Elite Four, so there is a lot she could do here.”

Saying it out loud in the middle of the city like this is a really bad idea. But she asked, so… despite the stares I’m getting from some of the snobs eavesdropping, I’m gonna just do my best to sum things up.

“Thankfully, she doesn’t really do that. She respects the hierarchy and structure of League leadership and does what’s expected. The rest of the city is full of… EAVESDROPPERS-” I see about a half-dozen people suddenly jerk their heads and turn away. I chuckle quietly. We’re near the end of the city path to the north, so there’s that. “- and people who judge you very closely based on appearance and what you say about the city.”

“Doesn’t sound like the kinda people I’d wanna be around.” Celeste says, wearing an expression of… mild despair? “They probably wouldn’t even let me eat their leftovers.”

“Yeah, these people are wasteful. They throw away more food in a day than some places in Kanto get in a week.”

That makes Celeste stop dead in her tracks. Before I can say anything, she groans loudly, facepalms with both hands, then stomps before grabbing my arm and storming off.

“The sooner we make you the fuckin’ Champion, the sooner we can get their asses for this.”

“Celeste, wait, slowdowni’mgonnafall-”

And just like that, I’ve got a face full of dirt. In front of the richest cluster of assholes in northern Kanto. Arceus damn it.

“Trey, I’m so sorry-”

“No, no. You’re fine. Please, help me up? Gently.”

She obliges, and I take my bag off to start digging for some cleaning supplies to get the dirt off my face. The bridge is still like half a mile - uh, a kilometer? - out. Here’s a cloth. Here’s some water. Wash my face off quickly-

“Trey, can you, uh. Carry me? I’ll carry your backpack.”

“Sure.”

And just like she used to, she clambers on my back.

==

“So you’re not a demon?”

“Not really. I mean, I dunno what I am, but definitely not demonic.”

“I don’t believe you. You’re literally sticking your arm through my chest right now.”

“...Ah.”

She withdraws her arm without so much as leaving a mark on me.

“Ya gotta trust me a bit more than that, dude.”

I’m surprised she can still phase through things like that. Is that just a thing she can do in general?

“Hey, Trey. See that shifty guy at the end of the bridge?”

I look up. I must’ve gotten a little too involved in that conversation because we’re already near the end of Nugget Bridge - supposedly! - and somehow past the four trainers on the bridge. Oh, yeah. There’s a guy in a big coat up there. It’s too warm out for a coat, what is he doing?

“Yeah, that guy right there?” I gesture towards him.

“Yup! He’s got something heavy in his pocket. Notice how his coat is sagging to one side?”

He’s still far enough away that I have to squint a little, but now that she mentions it… yeah, I can kinda see his coat being uneven.

“I see it.”

“He’s probably our guy. Let’s go annoy him!”

I just shake my head and walk a bit faster, then pause because I feel like I’m gonna fall again. I take a deep breath and count to five.

“Hey, Celeste?”

“Yeah?”

“Can I set you down for a bit? I think I’m losing balance.”

“Oh! Uh, yeah. But only if you carry me when you’re feeling better!”

I let go of her legs. She slides off my back and onto her feet before walking ahead of me.

“...I guess I can? It’s a little weird that you’re asking me for piggyback rides now when you were just climbing on my back whenever you pleased not too long ago.”

“I, well. uh…” She pauses and turns her head away from me. “I mean… I know I - well, my husk - was just kinda doing whatever it wanted. But you didn’t fight it. You just went with it and took care of it. And… being carried just feels comforting. ”

I tilt my head a bit to see her face better.

“Are your cheeks red-” “Don’t- don’t point it out!”

“Okay, okay. I won’t say anything. But… I don’t mind carrying you if it means that much to you.”

There’s an extended moment of silence. I’m not sure how to break it. I watch Celeste’s ears turn to one side, then she abruptly looks that way.

“Hey, you!” a voice calls out, followed by heavy boots against wood. I sigh and just look over. The shady guy is walking over to us.

“You sure gave my kids a workout. As a reward, I got this here Nugget for you-” he pulls out a golden Nugget that clearly looks like it’s been well-cared for. “-and a special offer!”

“A special offer on… what?” I start to say, then quickly turn to Celeste. “No asking for food!”

“Dang it, Trey. Just when I thought we were starting to get along…”

“I’ll buy you a cake later.”

“We’re definitely, absolutely, totally getting along!”

Weirdo. The Nugget guy is staring at Celeste with a furrowed brow and wrinkled nose. It takes him a second to look at me.

“Er… right. My special offer for ya. Just for today, I’ll waive the one-time entry fee for Team Rocket-”

Absolutely not. Celeste, this Nugget isn’t worth it. Let’s go.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Let’s get out of here.”

She’s got such a serious face all of a sudden. As we turn to go back to Cerulean, the guy growls in irritation. The hairs on my neck immediately stand and before I have a chance to think about it, I’ve turned back around with a Pokeball in hand.

Just as I thought. Motherfucker.

“I’m not gonna let you walk away!”

“Shut up for a sec.”

“You don’t get to-”

“I said shut up. You see this girl right here?”

I point at Celeste. He looks at her.

“Yeah. This girl. This crazy, unpredictable person. She’s actually a demon.” As if on cue, I hear her snort. A quick side glance confirms that she changed back to her other form.

“If you so much as do anything other than what I tell you, I’ll sic her on you. Do I make myself clear?”

yes.

“Good.“

I don’t like this tension, but I can’t be the first to crack.

“Set the Nugget on the ground, go get your goons and get the fuck out of Cerulean.”

He lets out a slight whimper and follows what I say to the tee. By the time he gets to the other end of the bridge, his nervous walk turns into a panicked run. The kids follow shortly after.

I sigh and look over at Celeste, who's changed back to her… normal form.

"Thanks for that, Celeste."

"Eh, figured it was worth scaring a scrub like him. How'd you know about me being able to switch forms like that?" she says, turning back towards the Nugget resting on the ground.

"Just a hunch."

I want to walk over and pick it up but I feel frozen in place. Celeste looks over at me and sighs. There's a look of recognition on her face.

"Trey, do you need to sit for a few minutes?"

"I-I guess?"

"Sit down for a bit. We'll get back on track when you feel ready to."

So I did. She brings the Nugget over and puts it in the bag before sitting next to me.

==

It’s been a couple of hours. I think I’m feeling okay? We could’ve gone an hour ago but I wanted to be sure.

“I think I’m good to go, Celeste.”

No response. Huh? I look over and she’s asleep. Great. Wait, when did she put the backpack on herself? I, maybe, shouldn’t think about this too much. I’d like to challenge the Gym before the day is up. There’s a training spot towards that ancient house northeast here. I can probably get Kip’s training sorted out there.

“Alright, time to get going.” I say, hoping that maybe it wakes Celeste up.



Nothing, huh? I get up and get an arm under Celeste to get her off the ground. Up we go. I get her draped over my back, and she, apparently on instinct, clings onto my back. Even in her sleep, huh? Well, off I go. I have two Pokemon in mind for the Gym, Bud and Kip. Bud’s typing is a flawless match-up against Water types, and Kip? A Gyarados is a hard thing to face in battle. They’re built like tanks. Ugh. Tanks. Why did I make that comparison? I stop supporting Celeste with one hand so I can reach for my belt. One at a time, I send out my Pokemon. They all look at me, except for Kip. Kip is flopping in a panic as usual.

“Alright team. Things haven’t been great lately, but there’s always a better tomorrow. Let’s get ready and take that better tomorrow into our own hands. All of you are between 17 and 18. Can I trust you all to get to 21? Come back to me if you need a Potion or something and I’ll keep you all healthy.”

I see little shifts in all of them except for Kip. I think they understood.

“Good. We’re gonna work our way up to the cliff. I’ve got precious cargo to get up there.”

Several noises among the group. Great.

“Let’s go, team.” I say to them, turning to face the trail. Now that I think of it, this is the first time I’ve seen Celeste asleep. Or, well, the actual Celeste and not the husk. Ever since she showed up, she’s stayed awake when I went to bed and is always up before me. Either she’s sleeping for less time than I am, or she’s not sleeping at all. I can’t imagine three days without sleep is good for anyone, let alone someone as strange as her.

This whole situation is weird, now that I think of it. I get saddled with a demon for three years, then it turns out to be the shell of the actual person who shows up out of nowhere. And she showed up in my dreams. Were those actually my dreams? And I’ve got an absolute prick of a guy trying to put me six feet under- damn it, my chest. Trey, take a deep breath. Don’t think about it for now. Celeste isn’t here to help you.

I guess I zoned out for a bit, because I’m at the cliff all of a sudden. There’s a lone bench here, facing out towards the ocean. It has a plaque on it, and what looks to be at least a century’s worth of wear and tear on it. Next to it is a small statue with Suicune and a young man with his Unown locked in a Pokemon Battle. I gently set Celeste down on the bench and go over to the statue. It has a small body of text on it:

“On this small hill in 2020, our first double Champion fought the Legendary Beast of Water, Suicune, and emerged victorious. It was on this day that he was deemed worthy and was joined by Raikou and Suicune.”

And let’s see what the bench says.

“Dedicated to Michael and Lyra Himura. May your finest moments be remembered for eternity.

Much love,
Cassie Himura and family.”

Cassie. I know that name. She’s my great-grandmother. And the whole reason my family got into that fucking deathtrap in Unova. ‘We need to be as good as your great-grandmother!’ Damn it. Cassie, I hope you’re proud of this mess your family - well, the only member of it left - is in now.

Wait - Michael? Double champion? I thought I heard that in the League history classes. Damn it, it makes sense. So I have multiple champions as my ancestors. That’s just. That’s just great. Great. Ugh, no wonder the guy in Pewter got hung up on ‘Himura’, it’s probably common knowledge to everyone. Except me, somehow? Why was I never told this?

“Ugh, where am I? Trey, where are you?”

“I’m behind the bench. I’m reading something.”

“You can stop reading... oh, are we where I think we are? Trey, we’re at Cerulean Cape, right?”

I watch her poke her head up and look around.

“Looks like you’ve already seen it!’

“Yeah. And I don’t really feel like talking about it.”

“Oh. T-that’s fine. That’s totally fine. I was told it was a, uhhhhh. Sensitive subject. I’ll just drop it.” she says, stretching her arms and taking in her surroundings. “You’ve got a few evolutions, Trey.”

“Huh?”

“Your team. Pidgeotto and Gyarados. Look.” She points behind me. Wait, I totally forgot about the team. Let’s turn and look- whoa.

I’m looking up at a Gyarados with a Pidgeotto perched on its trident. I grab my Pokedex and look to confirm- yup, it’s Kip and Allie, alright. Looks like everyone’s at 21 like I wanted. Man, Gyarados really doesn’t disappoint, huh? I thought they looked cool in the videos at the trainer university, but seeing one in the flesh - even if it’s Kip we’re talking about - is pretty awesome!

“Great work, team. So, team strategy. The Gym here is Water, so I’ve got two Pokemon in mind.”

I point at Kip with one hand and Bud with the other.

“These two will be coming in with me while the rest of you wait at reception. They’re the best fit for the gym, since Bud has the type advantage on Water types and Kip has enough bulk to tolerate whatever the Gym Leader has in store for us.”

Kip stares off into space. Bud nods at me and the rest of the team shuffle off to the side. I recall all of them one by one.

“Looks like you’ve got it all planned out, Trey.” Celeste says, getting up from the bench. I tuck the Pokedex back in my pocket.

“I mean, it’s simple when you know the type in advance.”

“Sure it is. Are we gonna go back now?”

“...Yeah. I wanna get the badge by the end of the day and be out of here tomorrow morning.” I say, shrugging.

“Gotcha. And uh, thanks for carrying me. I haven’t slept that well in… hey, how long has she been there?” she says, pointing at something a bit further out. I follow her hand to see what she’s pointing at- what the hell? There’s a woman standing a little ways from us, about fifty to a hundred yards, and she’s in a wedding dress, holding a bouquet. Is that the Gym Leader?

“I think that’s Gym Leader Brooke. What is she doing out here?” I say, trying not to make it obvious that I’ve seen her.

“And more importantly, why is she in a wedding dress? Was she here to propose to you?”

The Gym Leader turns and starts walking back down the trail.

“Wh- Celeste, no! I have no idea. I don’t think I want to know. Let’s just stay until she’s gone, then go back.”

Just like that, she sits on the ground and huffs. I watch the Gym Leader walk off into the distance before disappearing entirely.



Yeah, uh. Levels. I've had some comments about integrating levels into the story, but with my ruleset it's kinda necessary. In this case, think of levels less as a hard set of numbers and more a general estimate of each Pokemon's strength and experience. It's not an exact science in-universe (since if we actually accounted for different pokemon being different strengths, Gyarados would be massively overleveled at this stage of the game), but it's just about accurate enough that Gyms can enforce certain level rules as necessary.

The Gym Leader in this chapter will be explained soon enough, don't worry. I mentioned a continuity snarl back in chapter 4-2, vs Pewter's gym, and what that was is the fact that Trey's ancestor, Mike (from Mike's Diary, an abandoned horror run I want to go back and redo) has been through this region...180 years in the past. The original leaders, like Brock and Misty, have long since passed so I had to basically invent new Leaders to fill the same roles.

Gameplay is still ongoing! I have three more objectives to fill (R/S sidequest, the roaming dog, Mewtwo) but they're locked behind the National Dex. So, I gotta go grab my spare mons from the box and grind them up to fill out the rest of my dex entries.

One last thing! I know I've said multiple times that this run is based on mental health and is drawing from my own struggles (Generalized anxiety disorder), but in terms of my own mental health, I'm in a great place! I have a lot of things in life that I wanted to have, and I have two fluffy little rabbits to keep me company at home for when the days are a little gray.
 
Last edited:

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,045
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
What is fanfic for if not making fictional characters experience and express your own mental health problems so you can then throw support and healing at them and vicariously experience of that which you're struggling with or lacking in your own life? Honestly you expressed a panic attack super well here, especially the zombie stage where like... the attack is over, more or less, but you haven't fully rebooted into being a person yet, and having another person (or whatever Celeste is) give you physical direction... I dunno if it helps, but it's all you can do at that time. It actually vividly reminds me of the gravedigging sequence in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, where the weight in the controls changes so they're suddenly really slow and heavy, and it feels hard to dig and fill in that grave, even though all you're doing is leaning on a control stick. It's one of the best games I've ever played and I have never recovered emotionally from it.

Also, I hope Celeste took an eye or something off Gray, jesus fucking christ. I forgot what a PHENOMENAL shitstain he was. What was the POINT of any of that?! Fucking asshole.

And now Celeste... is HERE? IN FULL? Good to see you, girl, you're still looking eldritch and unsettling, what the FUCK is up? (We all miss Tech around here too... 😭
 

sky_

life is a trip alright (picrew by chereverie)
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
181
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
719
Location
A place to nap
Nature
Gentle
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Ghost
  2. Normal
Pokédex Entry
They are happy with rest, quiet and cuddles. They may try to be edgy or mysterious, but are often told that they present as the opposite.
Oh whoa this is all new! New Celeste development/reveals, new Gym Leader with a bride's dress? And adorably fluffy bunnies and u feeling better? Yesss xDDD

I am glad that Celeste is making her appearance now so that she is actually able to be helpful! And Gray...what on earth is going on with him? This is horrible DDD: Randy deserved so much better, poor bean D:
 
OP
Obelisk

Obelisk

no sleep only bnuuy
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
155
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
366
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
Pokédex Entry
Eccentric 'locker obsessed with Magikarp.
And schedule slip bites once again. Since I can't distract myself with games and the race I'm waiting to watch is in an hour...let's have a go at this!

What is fanfic for if not making fictional characters experience and express your own mental health problems so you can then throw support and healing at them and vicariously experience of that which you're struggling with or lacking in your own life? Honestly you expressed a panic attack super well here, especially the zombie stage where like... the attack is over, more or less, but you haven't fully rebooted into being a person yet, and having another person (or whatever Celeste is) give you physical direction... I dunno if it helps, but it's all you can do at that time. It actually vividly reminds me of the gravedigging sequence in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, where the weight in the controls changes so they're suddenly really slow and heavy, and it feels hard to dig and fill in that grave, even though all you're doing is leaning on a control stick. It's one of the best games I've ever played and I have never recovered emotionally from it.

Also, I hope Celeste took an eye or something off Gray, jesus fucking christ. I forgot what a PHENOMENAL shitstain he was. What was the POINT of any of that?! Fucking asshole.

And now Celeste... is HERE? IN FULL? Good to see you, girl, you're still looking eldritch and unsettling, what the FUCK is up? (We all miss Tech around here too... 😭
I appreciate that feedback. That panic attack depiction is based on my own experiences when I struggled with an anxiety disorder. I haven't heard that game and haven't quite been able to find the scene in question, but I suppose I might as well buy the game and give it a try!

As for Gray...who knows? Hard to know what Celeste decides is appropriate or not.

Oh whoa this is all new! New Celeste development/reveals, new Gym Leader with a bride's dress? And adorably fluffy bunnies and u feeling better? Yesss xDDD

I am glad that Celeste is making her appearance now so that she is actually able to be helpful! And Gray...what on earth is going on with him? This is horrible DDD: Randy deserved so much better, poor bean D:
Randy really did deserve better. I did everything right in gameplay and made one tiny error that turned the tables. Nuzlockes give and nuzlockes take.

Boiling: a term that refers to the point where a liquid rapidly vaporizes. Usually used to refer to water, which boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Boiling water is used in a huge number of recipes to cook and prepare foods.

The glass doors hiss and part before me, much more smoothly than the doors back at Pewter. I take a deep breath and give myself a once-over.

“Trey, I’m gonna wait out here, alright? This part of it is all you.” Celeste says, gently tapping my back with her knuckles.

“Yeah, sure. That should be fine. You stayed out last time, too. Just don’t spend my money.”

She nods at me, then wanders off to the closest bench to wait. I take a step in through the doors and am met with steely stares from two guards physically blocking the interior door.

“State name, hometown and business at the gym.” one says to me. This is what I thought of when I was told to expect checkpoints. I clear my throat.

“Trey Himura. Pallet Town. I am here to challenge the Gym per standard League Challenge regulations.”

“Hrmm…”

The guards look at each other, then sigh and step aside.

“You may enter. Retrieve your complimentary Fresh Water and your waiver at Reception. Second door on the right. Mind your step. Water everywhere.”

“Thank you, sir.” I say. Second door…

I take a step into the main Gym area and my foot slips a little. Ugh, he wasn’t kidding. I take my time with each step, and I’m able to get to the door for reception where it’s a lot drier than the main area. The receptionist looks up at me, and I see a brief look of disgust flash over her face before she clears her throat and starts retrieving the things she needs.

“Good evening, sir. Badge count?” She asks, looking at me. Except she’s not looking at me. She’s looking at something behind me to make it look like she has eye contact. Rude.

“One badge.”

“Mm-hmm. Two Pokemon maximum. Level 21 maximum. Name?”

“Trey Himura.”

The lines in the receptionist’s face soften. She relaxes and starts looking directly at me instead of through me.

“Then I suppose we can expect good things out of you. Please, your excess pokemon here?” she says, pushing the tray forward. I bite my tongue for a second to curb the spike of anger in my throat, then quickly look over my Pokeballs. I pick out Bud and Kip, then put the other four in the tray.

“Thank you. Your arena is door 2. Best of luck, Mr. Himura.”

“Thank you.” I say, and walk past the desk to the arena hallway. Fuck this family name and fuck this city.

Door 2 is here on the right, and it’s a normal door. Fair enough, these things probably get blown off their hinges with higher-ranked gym battles. Cost-cutting… kinda makes sense here. Alright. I open the door- whoa. This place…reeks of money. The rough stones making up the tiles look like the kind you’d find near Magmar nests, the fancy, almost-obsidian like color and the granite-like texture. What was it called again? Eh, I’ll look it up later. The perimeter of the pool here is marked with semi-translucent bricks of jadestone, and the pool is all stone. I can’t tell what it is, but it’s very similar in color to the water, so it gives the illusion of the pool being deeper than it actually is. I see my opponent across from me. Hey, wait a sec. This lady’s in a wedding dress.

“Good evening… Trey, is it? You’ll have to forgive my appearance. Today was an important anniversary for me and I had to attend to a personal matter relating to it. I would have closed for the evening, but my business was… Interrupted.”

I look a bit closer and- oh, shit. It’s Brooke.

“Ah, um. I’m sorry. Was it because of a guy and a weird-looking girl up at the cape? Because that was me.”

She straightens up, and I take the opportunity to walk over to the challenger’s square on my side of the arena.

“That was you? Oh, goodness. I was hoping I wasn’t spotted…” she says, worried.

“It’s not the strangest thing I’ve seen.”

I can see her frown. Crap, that wasn’t the right thing to say.

“Er… Brooke, sorry. I’m sure you have a good reason for what you wanted to do.”

“Well, it’s not really important. Not right now, at least.”

“Hey, hey. I’m actually kinda curious. Do you wanna share the story with me? People don’t do this kinda thing unless there’s a story.”

She pauses and shifts her weight. She still has the bouquet of flowers- hold on, Gracideas? I don’t like that.

“I would like to have this conversation after our battle for the Badge, if that’s alright?”

“Oh, uh. Sure. In that case…” I say, grabbing Bud’s ball from my belt. “Gym Leader Brooke, I challenge you for the Cascade Badge!”

She nods and produces a Pokeball. “I accept your challenge, Trey. May the best trainer win.”

Without another word, we send our Pokemon out. Brooke has a Staryu, which dives into the pool in the center of the Arena. At this level, this means she might also have a Starmie. The plant on Bud’s back wiggles as he lets out an excited noise. He’s ready to go!

“Alright, Bud - Use Vine Whip!”

“Staryu, Harden and try to endure that hit.”

Bud starts circling the edge of the pool, watching the Staryu and aiming his vines. I hear a loud splash- whoa. The Staryu flies across the arena and lands near my feet. I find myself stepping towards the back of my challenger’s square. I call back Bud.

I send Kip out, and watch the Staryu disappear, enveloped in a red light. There’s a splash in the pool - that’d be her Starmie. I watch Kip aimlessly tip over into the pool, sending a splash of water across the arena floor. Typical Kip. He pokes his head back out of the water and turns to me.

“Kip, go use Bite on that Starmie until it faints.”

I don’t hear what Brooke calls out to her Starmie, as her voice is drowned out by Kip’s roar. He slams his head back into the pool, followed by rapid flashes of white and blue energy.

Kip surfaces again, throwing his head against the wall of the room. Is he confused??? He growls and slams his head into the floor, followed by a bright flash of white from his mouth- holy hell, he’s not letting it go!

Another growl, a flick of the head, and he tosses the Starmie back into the water.

“A Gyarados this early is always an interesting experience,” Brooke says, recalling her Starmie. “And a good tell of the kind of trainer you are. I see no reason to try and contest this battle any further. Congratulations, Trey.”

She bows politely. I return the gesture.

“As for the question I’m sure is on your mind about the wedding dress… My husband passed away a little over a year ago. We were going to renew our vows late last year, but never got to.”

“I’m sorry about the loss, Brooke.” I say, not really sure what else to say.

“I appreciate the sentiment. I’m sure he appreciates what I’m doing as well…”

I nod quietly.

“Ah, before I get lost in my memories of him - go heal your team and report back to reception for your Badge. If the security guards or the receptionist give you trouble, wait outside and I’ll come meet you.”

==

As the doors slide open to let me out, there’s a crunch of bone- oh. Celeste.

“Trey! How’d ya do?” she says, jumping up from her seat and turning her body to catch up with her head. She bounds over effortlessly.

“I won! I need to go heal the team and then come back for the-”

She hugs me without warning wow that’s strong

“Awesome job, Trey! Two down, six to go!”

I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, owowowowowowowowOWOWOW-

“Oh, sorry! Still getting used to my own strength.”

“It’s… It’s fine. Let’s go.”

Bulbasaur and Gyarados is a lethal combination this early in any FRLG run. I will never stop recommending Gyarados because it's such a good Pokemon.

This chapter is a bit on the short side as I was having some issues with trying to establish a few things in the background for how this would go into ch. 8.

As for gameplay, I am creeping ever closer to completing it. I'm in the middle of grinding up my catches to evolve them for the Dex requirements (70 caught required - why is this a thing?!). Once I get the Dex running, it's just a matter of completing the run and then all in on the story.
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,045
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
This is why I always buy the Magikarp if my ruleset allows for it--sure, you could get one for free later once you've got the Old Rod, but having a Gyarados by the second gym is just too good to pass up. Poor Brooke, though... that's just sad as hell 😢
 

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
204
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,251
Location
Fochun
Nature
Brave
Pronouns
He/Him / They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
I absolutely love the concept of Trey hating his family name, and how it's been played with in the past couple chapters! It's also nice to have a couple relatively lighthearted chapters in a row, because I know that ain't gonna last! xD

Also, the energy you have between Trey and Celeste is a joy, an absolute joy to read, even in short doses like this!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top